UAE called upon to drop charges against reform advocates
The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE government and therefore violate their freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said. UAE authorities should release the activists unconditionally and without delay.A maxim: Generally speaking, you're not humiliated by someone else, you humiliate yourself.
The five defendants, who include a leading human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, and a university lecturer, Nasser bin Ghaith, pled not guilty on June 14, 2011, during a closed-door hearing in Abu Dhabi's Federal Supreme Court. The trial follows a campaign of harassment against the activists after they and dozens of other UAE nationals signed a petition published on March 9 that sought constitutional and parliamentary changes in the Emirates and free elections in which all citizens could participate.
"UAE rulers are prosecuting these activists solely for advocating democratic reforms," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The authorities should end this shameful crackdown on peaceful dissent."
Labels: Arab Spring