Human Rights Watch (HRW) has blasted the United Arab Emirates for violating human rights by suppressing dissent and discriminating against citizens at home while committing war crimes in Yemen.
In its World Report 2018 published on Thursday, the New York-based rights organization accused the UAE of “arbitrarily detaining or rounding up in its routine crackdowns on dissent,” citing the case of Ahmed Mansoor.
The award-winning Emirati rights activist has been in detention since March 2017, facing speech-related charges that include using social media to “publish false information that harms national unity.”
“The government and the many public relations firms it pays try to paint the UAE as a modern, reform-oriented country,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch.
“This rosy vision will remain fiction so long as the UAE refuses to release the activists, journalists, and critics it has unjustly jailed, like Ahmed Mansoor,” she added.
Elsewhere, the HRW report highlighted persistent labor abuses and the exploitation of migrant construction workers in the Persian Gulf country.
It also said that the UAE is discriminating against its people based on their sex, gender and identity, reported Press TV.
The rights group further touched on the UAE’s complicity in torture and disappearances across Yemen.
The UAE is a key ally of Saudi Arabia in its military campaign on Yemen, which has claimed around 13,600 lives since its onset in March 2015.
Besides playing a significant part in aerial assaults and deploying troops to Yemen, Abu Dhabi has been training the pro-Saudi militants fighting on the ground against the Yemeni army and its allied forces.