Letter to President Obama to put human rights on the agenda during Gulf Cooperation Council Summit
Amnesty International USA Interim Executive Director, Margaret Huang, writes to President Barack Obama calling on him to put human rights at the heart of his agenda at his meeting with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh on April 21, 2016.
The government of the United Arab Emirates, also a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council, has undertaken a sharp clampdown on freedom of expression and association since 2011. The authorities have arbitrarily arrested scores of activists, including human rights defenders and political activists. Many have been subjected to prolonged enforced disappearance followed by unfair trial. The government has tried cases such as these in unfair mass trials that have resulted in convictions of up to 15 years. A total of 94 individuals (the “UAE94”) were accused of seeking to overthrow the government and subjected to a grossly unfair mass trial. Dr Mohammed al-Roken and Dr. Mohammed Al-Mansoori are prisoners of conscience currently languishing in Emirati jails.
Others include judges, academics, and student leaders, some of whom have faced torture following imprisonment. Economist and social commentator, Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, whom the authorities tried unfairly and convicted in 2011, was subject to an enforced disappearance in August 2015.
Amongst dozens of foreign nationals held on grounds of ‘national security’, the government is currently prosecuting US-Libyan Kamal Eldarat and his son Mohammed Eldarat and Canadian/Libyan Salim al-Aradi. Amnesty International has received reports that UAE officials tortured them in order to elicit ‘confessions’ that have been relied on in court.
The UAE government has stripped tens of people of their nationality and has deported at least one person. The 2012 Cybercrime and 2014 Anti-Terrorism Laws pave the way for further restrictions on expression.
Click here to read the full report: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/amnesty_international_lett...