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Sat 27 Oct 2012 10:23 AM

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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.

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.

Corolex 7 years ago

Who writes these reports and where are the information sources coming from? here is my experience...

Where I work women are treated just as fairly as men and they are in all posts from junior positions to senior executives.

In regards to labour, living conditions are as good as economically possible, it is no 5 star hotel but is no less than a hundred times better for the worker than in their home country. I have worked with facilities and security companies and have evaluated all their accommodations, and YES I can live in these places.

If a business defaults and does not pay their workers then it is a business problem...not political.

I havent heard of any death penalty so I could not comment on that.

thank you and have a nice day

george santos 7 years ago

The United States has an unjust death penalty with many victims now been cleared with new DNA evidence- havent heard a word from the EU

Both the EU and the US , have illegal migrant workers , in a underground economy with no access to schools/healthcare or housing. As long as they are unseen, and dont bother anyone they are tolerated. They provide services which no native European or American will perform and hence allowed to maintain their illegal status -- havent heard a word on this.

The UAE is not perfect , and yes there are unscrupulous labour merchants. However most companies do provide housing/ food for their employees. their salaries are not on par with US/EU, but much better than back home- While not being an unbashed supporter of the UAE, it has made significant strides in improving the welfare of all its citizens and expatriates.

It is not a govt policy to abuse any worker here, sometimes it is us human beings , exploiting our fellow human beings. We need to improve ours

richard 7 years ago

They may have improved their humanity issues but the truth is they only do so when exposed or forced to respond. Millions of poor Indians, Nepalese, Malaysians and Filipinos continue to be exploited across the GCC, and to believe otherwise is naive.

procan 7 years ago

The EU and the West are trying very hard to protect the GCC from Arab Spring. That been said improving the conditions and humanity of the massive in country population of foreign labours it is hoped will further sooth hearts minds of all expats. Showing kindness and respect for those in your country will provide generous returns in loyalty. After all for the EU and other western countries we want the GCC to succeed and archive there aspirations. Happy Capitalism.

bint al abla 7 years ago

George - death penalty in all countries is often unjust, but surely I don't need to tell you this, it's almost so obvious to make it painful to relate. There are CONSTANT rejections of the validity of the death penalty in both the US and EU - please read more widely George!!
Worldwide, the rich who are convicted buy good lawyers, and do - at worst - some jail time and go free, but the poor hang/are beheaded/electrocuted/whatever. A fair world is, for many, a distant vision. We cannot change the world, but we can change our immediate world.

ARM 7 years ago

I agree with this 100%. He is very right, UAE is still better in LAWS and RULE than other GCC countries.

mike ali 7 years ago

I really dont know why EU act too smart and they can see and talk about UAE while what Israel doing with palestinians in GAZA and other cities , in all kinds of killing. How come EU does not open their mouth and eyes and they can see only UAE. In UAE we are expats and we are coming by our own . UAE government does not force any one to come. UAE has its own rules and regulations, you like it , stay and if you dont like, there are so many airports to leave the country. Why in EU are they applying full human rights with expats and specially moslems? I doubt it and every one knows this. At least in UAE all religions allowed have their own places to pray even HINDU , they still have temple. In short sentence, UAE is for people like to stay and who dont like LEAVE with pleasure from others.

langyaw 7 years ago

@Corolex, you happen to be blessed with a great employer. look around you, outside your shell, and find people paid under 1K a month, who get herded from their accommodations (if they have one), to their work places and back, who work long hours, no weekends, and no time for worship, much less for self, and live practically like slaves.
overall, the UAE is a great country, but authorities still have to grab some unscrupulous employers by the neck and make them pay for their sins to what they're doing to their "employees".

Millicent 7 years ago

US and EU are no better than UAE and at present I would say it is more fun to live in UAE. Human rights !! do not fool yourself in EU or US there are no more human rights than in the UAE. There is no tolerance and if you do not agree with the system they will cover for it not to be publicised, they are more hypocrites than any where else. Set-up stories for the public which are far away from the truth . Luckly, slowly the public opinion is changing because the politicians have made too many mistakes, too many lies, covering-up the mess in which they have put us, no honnesty,taking people for fools, yes this is EU and US at present. Here in UAE you still have respect from bottom to top because government follows the rules, if individuals don't this is another matter and the people abused should take them to court but the system here works unlike EU and US at present.
Therefore EU & US should stop giving lessons to the rest of the world as today they are no better than anywhere else

Andreas 7 years ago

@ langyaw this is tough i agree but as long as there are places like rural india china or pakistan where is NO work NO food and NO accommodation these conditions will be accepted and workfore will be found ..... as mike ali wrote : the door to leave is open for everybody nobody is chained here