Bahrain

Bahrain
JUA
29 Mar 2018
BHR 3/2018
Mandates: arbitrary detention, freedom of opinion and expression, human rights defenders, health
Alleged victims: 1

Information received concerning the ill-treatment and sentencing of Mr. Nabeel Rajab.

Serious concern is expressed at the sentencing of Mr. Rajab to two and five year prison sentences on the basis of repressive and overbroad legislation that criminalizes the legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of opinion and expression, in trials that seemingly failed to respect due process guarantees.”

Grave concern also expressed at allegations of mistreatment of Mr. Rajab on his arrival and while in detention at Jaw prison which may amount to cruel and degrading treatment. As a result of his continued incarceration, further concern is expressed over the conditions of detention of Mr. Rajab going forward and the impact on his physical and mental integrity, especially in light of the determination of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s that he should be released.”

 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia
AL
06 Mar 2018
SAU 3/2018
Mandates: water and sanitation
Alleged victims: 1

Information received concerning the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation of the population of the Kamaran island, Republic of Yemen, particularly in relation to the recent destruction of the desalination water plant following the attack in July 2017.

Grave concern is expressed that the population in the Kamaran island is suffering from lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation due to the attack on the desalination plant. In particular, I express concern that the destruction of the plant and the lack of sewage system in the Kamaran island render the drinking water from water wells vulnerable to contamination and may further aggravate the epidemic of cholera and other water-borne diseases.”

Saudi Arabia
JUA
12 Mar 2018
SAU 2/2018
Mandates: human rights defenders, arbitrary detention, freedom of opinion and expression, women in law and in practice
Alleged victims: 1

Information received concerning the arrest, arbitrary detention and charges against human rights defender Ms. Noha Al-Balawi.

Concern is expressed at the arrest, arbitrary detention and charges against Ms. Noha Al-Balawi for reasons which, if confirmed, seem directly linked to her work as a human rights defender. Further concern is expressed at the use of the Anti-Cybercrime Law in order to target human rights defenders through broad and vague provisions.”

 

Yemen

Yemen
AL
06 Mar 2018
YEM 2/2018
Mandates: water and sanitation
Alleged victims: –

Information received concerning the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation of the population of the Kamaran island, Republic of Yemen, particularly in relation to the recent destruction of the desalination water plant following the attack in July 2017.

Grave concern is expressed that the population in the Kamaran island is suffering from lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation due to the attack on the desalination plant. In particular, I express concern that the destruction of the plant and the lack of sewage system in the Kamaran island render the drinking water from water wells vulnerable to contamination and may further aggravate the epidemic of cholera and other water-borne diseases.”

 

Kuwait

Kuwait
JAL
28 Mar 2018
KWT 1/2018
Mandates: freedom of opinion and expression, human rights defenders
Alleged victims: 70, with 20 named victims

Information received concerning 70 Kuwaiti human rights defenders and members of Parliament sentenced, on 27 November 2017, to prison terms of up to nine years for holding a spontaneous peaceful demonstration against corruption in Kuwait’s National Assembly in 2011.

Grave concern is expressed at the arrest of the 70 Kuwaiti human rights defenders and members of Parliament, as well as their subsequent sentencing and imprisonment, which appear to solely relate to their legitimate exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and of assembly, as enshrined in articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), acceded by Kuwait on 21 May 1996. We are further concerned at the increasingly limited space for individuals, including public figures, to express dissenting opinions in Kuwait.”

 

Oman

Oman
OL
26 Mar 2018
OMN 1/2018
Mandates: freedom of opinion and expression
Alleged victims: –

Information received concerning provisions of the new Penal Code in Royal Decree No. 7/2018, which contains several vaguely defined provisions that could unduly restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in particular the rights of human rights defenders and online activists.

The complaint alleges the restrictions outlined in Royal Decree No. 7/2018 contravene article 19 of the UDHR, provisions in the CEDAW, CERD, CRC, and soft law obligations under the ICCPR. In particular, the Rapporteur expresses concern regarding articles 116, 118, 125 of the new Penal Code which infringe on the right to free expression and opinion.

 

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates
JAL
22 May 2018
ARE 2/2018
Mandates: arbitrary detention, freedom of opinion and expression, human rights defenders, health
Alleged victims: –

Information received concerning alleged human rights violations resulting from exposure of workers including children, to toxic chemicals while working in tobacco farms in Zimbabwe, specifically in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, and Manicaland.

“In 2016, Premium Tobacco International DMCC, a company headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, acquired the assets of Tribac, a company with operations in Zimbabwe, and is registered as an authorized contractor for tobacco farming in Zimbabwe through its subsidiary, Premium Leaf Zimbabwe.”

It is reported that neither government officials nor company representatives [likely in reference to the UAE owners] have provided workers with adequate information about nicotine poisoning and pesticide exposure, or with sufficient training or comprehensive education to protect themselves. Some workers reportedly are not provided with, and often lack the means to procure equipment necessary to protect themselves, despite legal provision requiring employers to ensure that workers handling hazardous substances, including pesticides, are informed about the risks of the work, and provided with proper protective equipment. Furthermore, there is insufficient information among nearby communities about pesticides used on the farms, which has direct bearing on the ability of these communities to make informed decisions and participate in public debates regarding risks to their health from contamination of the air, water and soil.”

 

United Arab Emirates
JAL
04 May 2018
ARE 1/2018

Mandates: arbitrary detention, disappearances, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, human rights defenders, independence of judges and lawyers, terrorism, torture
Alleged victims: 2

Information received concerning the continued arbitrary detention of human rights defenders Mr. Osama Al-Najjar and Mr. Ahmed Mansoor, along with the charges against Mr. Mansoor.

Serious concern is expressed over the continued arbitrary detention of Mr. Al-Najjar beyond the term of his sentence on the basis of broad and vague legislation created in order to tackle threats emanating from terrorism, for reasons seemingly linked to his peaceful work as a human rights defender and his legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of expression rather than for any grounds actually stemming from state security considerations. Further concern is expressed at the lack of avenues available to appeal the legality of detention decisions made under article 40 of the Federal Law No. 7/2014, increasing the risk of his prolonged arbitrary detention.”

Deep concern is expressed over the continued detention of Mr. Mansoor at an unknown location under alleged conditions of solitary confinement with extremely limited access to visitors, which may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and enforced disappearance. Concern is also expressed over the charges against Mr. Mansoor which remain unclear, though seemingly linked to his legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression in the context of his work as a human rights defender, along with his alleged lack of access to legal counsel which seriously jeopardizes his ability to mount an effective defense and violates fair trial guarantees.”

For a PDF of the Joint Communications Report, click here.