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WEB POLL

What do you think about the conditions of detention in UAE prisons ?

comply with international standards
7.3%
Do not comply with international standards
85.4%
I don't know
0%
Total votes: 41
The voting for this poll has ended on: November 30, 2016

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Geneva, 16th March 2018

The side-event focused on the long-standing issue of statelessness in the Gulf countries. The event mixed both videos and contributions from the panel. The session was moderated by Mr Drewery Dyke, a representative of the Rights Realisation Centre.

Through a video conference, Ms. Zahra Albarazi, from the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion began by providing an overview of statelessness and revocation of citizenship in the Gulf region. She reminded that citizenship practices are becoming exclusionary and discriminatory in the GCC, especially with regards to gender. Indeed, women are still not allowed to pass on citizenship on to their children. She then explained that the Bidoon population across the region has become more and more problematic over the years. She also stated that the practice of nationality revocation has become a prominent issue in the GCC countries over the past few years. Ms. Julia Legner, representative of the Alkarama Foundation retraced the history and root of the long-standing issue of statelessness in Kuwait. She emphasized on the fact that Kuwait is one of the most successful countries in the world, but yet the Bidoon population lives in slums. She went on by sharing a video of Ahmad Jabar, who gave his testimonial as a Bidoon in Kuwait.

Ms. Safwa Aïssa, Executive director of the International Center for Justice and Human Rights presented the recent legal amendments made in the UAE’s legislation regarding citizenship and nationality. These legislations have been used not only to punish prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders, but also their children and wives. Ms. Atossa, journalist and author, presented her investigations on how the Emirati government bribed the Comoros Island in order to document the Bidoon population. She stressed that there were cases in which people were forced to take up the Comorian nationality. This situation resulted in the deportation of the Bidoon population living in the UAE.

Yoana Kuzmova and Jay representing Boston University gave a historical background to the existence of statelessness in the Gulf region. Yoana Kuzmova also shared a video of a stateless person expressing his distress.  Finally, Mr. Joe Odell, from the International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE presented individual cases of deprivation of nationality in the UAE. He particularly highlighted the fact that the practice of revocation of nationality is used as a means to crackdown and descend on human rights defenders, political activists and any other dissident to the State.

To watch the video on statelessness and deprivation of citizenship in the Gulf

Link: Video Side event 16 March 2018