Freedom House denounces efforts by UAE officials to impose a travel ban on human rights defenders and bloggers and calls on the Emerati government to lift these restrictions and to cease all efforts to stymie freedom of expression. Such bans are the latest in a series of measures aimed at silencing calls for reform among peaceful activists.
Freedom House condemns the raid and closing of the Dubai offices of several civil society organizations, including the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the German-based Konrad Adenauer Foundation, both of which promote democracy and human rights. The organizations were raided by Dubai authorities and shut down with no explanation.
Five activists plead not guilty in an Abu Dhabi trial after criticizing the United Arab Emirates’ government leadership. The five activists: Ahmed Mansour, Nasser bin Ghaith, Fahad Salem Dalk, Hassan Ali al-Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq signed an online petition calling on United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa to introduce “direct elections” and give parliament legislative powers, in an effort to promote political and economic reform.
On the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, Freedom House recognizes the equal rights of women globally and particularly calls upon governments in the Middle East and North Africa, where women experience the lowest levels of fundamental rights, to fulfill their commitments to gender equality.