what do you think about the UPR recommendations to the United Arab Emirates?

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Geneva, on November 13, 2019

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) launched a campaign to call for the release of prominent lawyer and human rights defender Dr Mohammed Al-Roken, and shed light on his situation ahead of the World Tolerance Summit, starting today in the UAE.

The Centre released a documentary film on Dr Mohammed Al-Roken, entitled "Al-Roken: The Mandela of the UAE". The film compiles testimonies of human rights activists and lawyers, who highlighted the significant work Dr Al-Roken has done for human rights in the UAE.

The documentary film sheds light on the human rights violations Dr Al-Roken has suffered. He was arrested on July 17, 2012 on his way to the police station to inquire about his son and son-in-law, abducted earlier that day. Detained incommunicado for months, Dr Al-Roken was later tried and sentenced on July 2, 2013, within the trial known as the “UAE 94” trial, to 10 years imprisonment, with a prohibition from practicing as a lawyer.

On November 12, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights issued an open letter, alongside 28 NGOs, experts and prominent figures, to call upon the UAE government to immediately and unconditionally release Dr Al-Roken. The letter highlighted that Dr Mohammed Al-Roken was specifically targeted for his peaceful activism and his work as a lawyer in sensitive cases. The signatories also raised concern about the current detention conditions of Dr Al-Roken who continues to be subjected to ill-treatment and random disciplinary measures at Al-Razeen prison. In July 28, 2019, the UN Special Procedures addressed a communication to the UAE government to inquire about the detention conditions of Dr Al-Roken.

Today, the Emirati government is hosting its second World Tolerance Summit, without however taking any step to improve the human rights situation in the country. So far, all prisoners of conscience, arrested arbitrarily for their peaceful exercise of free expression, remain in jail. Some have been kept in detention beyond their prison terms. In August 2019, the authorities announced the release of 3 activists kept in administrative detention after the end of their jail sentences; this was however done in exchange of forced confessions of the three men recorded and broadcasted on television.

This version of tolerance does not fit the international human rights standards the UAE has committed itself to comply with and implement. The ICJHR is concerned to note that many of the participants attending the summit or the organisations they represent have a credibility and a reputation that will profit to the UAE’s campaign to overshadow its human rights record. The Centre calls on all participants to speak out against human rights violations in the UAE and urge the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Dr Al-Roken and all prisoners of conscience in the country.

Watch the video : LINK

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