United Arab Emirates

While the United Arab Emirates markets itself as a progressive economic safe-haven and cultural hub in the region, with offshoots of New York and Sorbonne University, as well as the Louvre museum, the human rights reality on the ground stands at stark contrast.

Freedom of opinion and expression is severely limited by a restrictive legal framework, including the Cybercrime Law, the Law on Combating Terrorist Crimes and the Penal Code, making critical civil society space non-existent. Human rights defenders and peaceful dissidents face harsh reprisals for their activism, often in the form of arbitrary detention. Torture is systematically practised to obtain confessions that are later used as the sole evidence at trial to sentence individuals to long prison terms.

Regionally, the UAE adopts an interventionist approach within the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, where it consolidated its control over large areas in the south of the country, controlling the seaport, airport, military checkpoints and some official as well as unofficial detention centres.

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Human Rights Instruments
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
ICCPR ratified?
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (UNCAT)
UNCAT ratified?
UNCAT ratified on
Has the Optional Protocol to the UNCAT been ratified?
Has a National Preventive Mechanism against torture been created?
Committee against Torture (CAT) Concluding Observations last issued on
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)
ICPPED ratified?
Human Rights Council
Last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held on
Next Universal Periodic Review to be held on
Membership of Human Rights Council:

2015 / 2018

National Human Rights Institution