ADHRB at HRC38 raises concerns over widespread torture in UAE prisons

On Monday 2 July 2018, at the 38th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council during the Item 8 General Debate on the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, ADHRB delivered an oral intervention calling attention to widespread torture in the United Arab Emirates. In the intervention, ADHRB remarked in particular on the situation of Salim al-Aradi, Kamal al-Darat, Mohamed al-Darat, Ahmed Mansoor, Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith, and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammad al-Maktoum. Click here for a PDF of the intervention or continue reading for the full text of the intervention.

Mr. President,

IDO and ADHRB wish to raise our concerns over States’ violations to the VDPA relating to the right to be free from torture, abuse and ill-treatment.

For example, the UAE frequently arbitrarily detains and forcibly disappears residents who have spoken about human rights or criticized the Emirati government. While in detention, they are at severe risk of torture and abuse.

From 2014 until 2016, Emirati officials arrested Salim al-Aradi, Kamal al-Darat, Mohamed al-Darat on fabricated terror charges, holding them in prison without convicting them of a crime. Officials tortured them throughout their detention, using electric shocks, removal of finger nails, sleep deprivation, and threats of sexual violence and rape to coerce confessions.

Torture concerns persist for prominent rights defenders and dissidents Ahmed Mansoor and Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith. Emirati officials arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared Dr. bin Ghaith for eight months, during which time he alleged officials tortured him, and officials held Ahmed Mansoor for a year incommunicado. There have been concerns that his detention, including prolonged periods in solitary confinement may rise to the level of torture.

Furthermore, recent reports raise concerns over allegations of enforced disappearance and torture of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammad al-Maktoum, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, following her attempt to flee the country.

We call on all States, including the UAE to end torture of detainees and to prosecute the officials responsible for the torture and to hold them accountable, in line with the VDPA.

Thank you.