Trial of the UAE 5—for “publicly insulting” top officials—is a travesty, say human rights groups

UAE: Trial Observer Finds Due Process Flaws in ‘UAE 5’ Case
Coalition of 7 International Rights Groups Calls for Independent Judicial Inquiry
NOVEMBER 3, 2011

(Dubai) – The Federal Supreme Court trial of five Emirati activists accused of “publicly insulting” top United Arab Emirates officials in an internet forum has been grossly unfair, and the case against them has no basis in international law as it violates their freedom of expression, a trial observer appointed by a coalition of international human rights organizations said today.

The coalition, composed of Alkarama (Dignity), Amnesty International, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Front Line Defenders, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, and Index on Censorship, said that the interim assessment of civil liberties lawyer Jennie Pasquarella raised disturbing questions about the politicization of the case against the men and called for all five to be released immediately and unconditionally and the charges dropped.

The groups also called on the UAE authorities to open an independent judicial inquiry into the decision to prosecute the five men.

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