UAE: Investigate Threats against ‘UAE 5’
Authorities Ignore Intimidation Campaign against Jailed Activists
NOVEMBER 25, 2011
(Abu Dhabi) – Authorities have failed to investigate a campaign of death threats, slander and intimidation against five jailed Emirati activists, says an independent report released today. The report, written on behalf of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) with research assistance from Human Rights Watch, documents the threats, including death threats, by government sympathizers and the atmosphere of impunity in which they have been made.
The activists, known among their supporters as the “UAE 5,” were arrested in early April 2011, and are on trial in Abu Dhabi, accused of “publicly insulting” top United Arab Emirates officials. The Federal Supreme Court, which is trying the case, has said it will issue a verdict on November 27. Charlotte Peevers, a British legal expert who is the author of the report, researched it in the UAE during late October and early November with a representative from Human Rights Watch.
“Since their arrests, these peaceful activists have been subjected to an alarming series of threats and intimidation, with the apparent acquiescence of the Emirati authorities,” Peevers said. “By not investigating those who are interfering with justice and threatening people’s lives, UAE authorities are drawing even more attention to the political motivation for this trial.”