Hat tip to Sean Agnew for sending this in. Whatever we said that got us banned? That now goes double.
HUMAN RIGHTS: The Human Rights situation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) deteriorated rapidly during 2012, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. The government has carried out a repressive campaign that has targeted Islamists, liberals, activists, and scholars alike, Human Rights Watch said. The campaign has systematically violated UAE citizens’ rights to free expression and fair trial, and employed tactics that directly contravene the international prohibition on arbitrary detention and forced disappearance. At the same time, the authorities have failed to reform a labor system that facilitates the trafficking and forced labor of its migrant workers. The UAE has detained 66 people with ties to a peaceful Islamist group, al-Islah, all but two of whose whereabouts remain unknown, prompting concern for their safety. The whereabouts of 11 Egyptian nationals, detained in December on the basis of alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, are also unknown. The Emirati detainees include two prominent human rights lawyers, Mohammed al-Roken and Mohammed al-Mansoori, as well as judges, teachers, and student leaders. Authorities have also taken action against foreign lawyers employed by the Emirati law firm that offered legal assistance to the detainees, arresting, deporting, and intimidating them. Human Rights Watch has received numerous reports of torture at state security facilities, including credible allegations of torture by two Syrian nationals. MORE
RELATED: Largely unaffected by the Arab Spring turmoil, the government has nonetheless clamped down on Internet activism.In April 2011, five activists who signed an online petition calling for reforms were imprisoned. They were pardoned and released in November. Since March 2012 more than 60 activists have been detained without charge – some of them supporters of the Islah Islamic group. A member of the ruling family in Ras al-Khaimah was put under house arrest in April 2012 after calling for political openness. Mindful of the protests in nearby Bahrain, in November 2012 the UAE outlawed online mockery of its own government or attempts to organise public protests through social media. Many expatriate workers, mostly of South Asian origin, have after their arrival in the UAE been turned into debt-ridden de facto indentured servants. Confiscation of passports, although illegal, occurs on a large scale, primarily from unskilled or semi-skilled employees. Labourers often toil in intense heat with temperatures reaching 54 degrees celsius (129 degrees Fahrenheit) in the cities in August. Temperatures in the desert can be higher. Official temperatures are censored during the summer months – this is a common practice among all Gulf countries. France and the United States have played the most strategically significant roles with defense cooperation agreements and military material provision. MORE