U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of the United Arab Emirates

Delivered by Michele Roulbet
29th Session of the Human Rights Council’s UPR 

Geneva, January 22, 2018

As prepared for delivery.
The U.S. statement could not be read in full at the session due to UPR constraints.

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States welcomes the delegation of the United Arab Emirates.

We recommend the UAE:

  1. Implement existing laws to inform detainees promptly of the charges against them, and permit access to legal counsel for all those accused of crimes while affording fair and transparent proceedings by an independent and impartial tribunal with all the fair trial guarantees necessary for an accused’s defense;
  2. Demonstrate greater respect for freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, including by allowing individuals to criticize the government and hold peaceful demonstrations, and revising the cybercrime law to be consistent with principles of free expression; and
  3. Take appropriate steps to protect LGBT persons and ensure that protection is provided to victims of sexual assault and perpetrators are identified, prosecuted, and held accountable.

We commend the UAE for efforts to protect migrant workers, including approving new domestic worker protections.  We commend new steps to promote religious tolerance and protect women, children, and persons with disabilities.

We remain concerned that non-violent political activists are detained without charge or access to counsel.

We are also concerned about undue limits on freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, and punishments against individuals criticizing government officials and allied countries, or calling for peaceful demonstrations.  We are deeply concerned by the lack of protections for LGBT individuals and for victims of sexual assault.

(end statement)