UAE slams new EU verdict on human rights

Senior UAE official dismisses report 'biased and prejudiced'; vows to protect security
UAE slams new EU verdict on human rights
Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 27 Oct 2012 10:23 AM

An EU report criticising the UAE over conditions for migrant workers, the status of women and the death penalty has been dismissed as "biased and prejudiced" by a senior UAE official.

Commenting on the new EU Parliament resolution, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said it threw "accusations haphazardly without substantiating facts on the ground".

He added that the EU resolution "purposely overlooks the milestones made by the UAE and endorsed by the relevant international organisations, particularly in the areas of foreign labour, comprehensive social care and women's empowerment".

Gargash said in comments published by news agency WAM that the UAE had not been summoned to the discussion, adding that it requested the EU Parliament to defer the debate.

The UAE said a deferral, which was not possible, would "allow for opportunity to express its points of view which would help give accuracy, balance and credibility to the resolution".

"As a result, the final resolution came prejudiced and unfair which impacted its credibility. The resolution adopted unsubstantiated accusations by groups and organisations that made it a top priority to tarnish UAE s reputation," he said.

"The UAE will continue to take all necessary measures to protect its security and stability, on the basis of its institutions, laws and regulations observed.

"There is no room for leniency when it comes to laws and constitutional foundations no matter what circumstances are."

The resolution expressed "severe concerns" for the well being of approximately 62 political detainees arrested this year.

It called on Emirati authorities to ensure "a fair trial and due process" for all detainees and urged UAE authorities to "respect the rule of law and ensure the fair trial of all arrested political activists".

The EU resolution also called on authorities to "guarantee that human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without fear of reprisal or retribution" and appealed for "an investigation into recent allegations of physical assault and torture of those under arrest".

In March, the UAE closed two international thinktanks promoting democracy overseas, Germany's Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the US-funded National Democratic Institute, without giving reasons.

The UAE says it has no political prisoners and says the detainees whose cases have been cited by international rights groups are Islamist militants who threaten the state.

Last week, Gargash sent a tweet criticising Britain's Guardian newspaper for an editorial in which it questioned the UAE's human rights record.

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