ISHR joins 25 other NGOs in calling for the UN Human Rights Office's return to Venezuela and the release of political detainees, including Rocío San Miguel, amidst rising repression.
Emirati woman human rights defender Jenan Almarzooqi delivered a statement on behalf of ISHR urging the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to implement the Universal Periodic Review recommendations on civic space, including releasing political prisoners, stop arresting and intimidating human rights defenders, putting an end to its repressive practices and respect human rights.
Read and watch the statement below:
I am dismayed that the UAE has rejected the recommendation to release prisoners who have completed their prison sentences.
For 10 years with my mother and siblings, we waited for 22 July 2022, the end date of the sentence of my father, Abd Alsalam Darwish Almarzouki. And after a decade of family separation, we were devastated that he was not released. He remains detained with no release date, under the pretext of ‘Counseling’.
My father is one of 60 prisoners who remain in detention despite completing their prison sentences. Those prisoners have families and a life to go back to.
The refusal of the United Arab Emirates to adopt this recommendation means that the families have to wait indefinitely for the release of their loved ones. It is a flagrant violation of international law, and arbitrary as concluded by the working group on arbitrary detention in 2013.
We are also concerned that the UAE rejected recommendations 147 to 159 calling for authorities to ensure a safe environment for human rights defenders and guarantee freedom of expression. This is particularly concerning given that the country is due to host COP28 and that safe civil society participation is essential for climate justice and humanity’s future.
It seems that the unfortunate fate of Emirati human rights defenders is either prison, like Ahmed Mansoor and Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken, or to live and die in exile, such was the case of my colleague and friend Alaa Al-Siddiq, the former director of ALQST.
We urge the UAE to implement these recommendations, to release political prisoners, stop arresting and intimidating human rights defenders, put an end to its repressive practices and respect human rights.
The Venezuelan human rights defender Rocío San Miguel was arbitrarily arrested on Friday at the airport, along with relatives. She must be released immediately and the rights of defenders in the country respected.
Civil society is deeply concerned about the ongoing and escalating harassment and attacks on KISA, a leading NGO advocating for human rights without racism or discrimination and defending migrants, refugees, and human trafficking victims.