Wednesday 3 July 2019 – During the 41st session of the Human Rights Council, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention during Item 4 General Debate. In the intervention, ADHRB raised concerns over the widespread use of torture in prisons, especially on human rights defenders for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Continue reading for the text of the intervention, or click here for a PDF.

Mr. President, 

ADHRB would like to bring to the Council’s attention the systematic use of torture in the UAE. 

Torture remains widespread and systematic in prisons in the UAE and in territory run by soldiers supported by the UAE. Among those who have been tortured are human rights defenders, who were arbitrarily arrested, including for exercising their right to freedom of expression. For example, Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, a prominent academic and economist was arrested in August 2015, beaten and deliberate deprived of sleep. Ahmed Mansoor a human rights defender has been detained since March 2017 and has spent long periods in solitary confinement, a practice that constitutes torture and inhuman punishment. Female prisoners such as Amina Ahmed Saeed Al-Abdouli, Maryam Suliman Al-Balushi, and Alia Abdulnoor also reported torture and ill treatment in Al-Wathba prison, with Alia Abdulnoor ultimately dying in prison after being denied healthcare.

Credible reports also revealed the existence of UAE-run prisons in Yemen in which detainees are systematically tortured and sexually abused.

In addition, the UAE forces in Yemen have launched airstrikes, raped civilians, and employed child soldiers in acts that have caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians and constitute war crimes.

These repressive actions are part of broad tactics to repress fundamental human rights and to keep Emiratis from calling for democracy and the rule of law. We call on the Council to urge the UAE to put an end to these human rights abuses and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Thank you.