UAE: Condemnation of the travel ban against poet Dhabiya Al-Muhairi


GENEVA – Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) decries the arbitrary travel ban imposed by the UAE authorities on Emirati writer and poet Dhabia Khamis Al Muhairi (62 years old) for expressing her views rejecting the UAE’s decision to normalize relations with Israel.

In a post on Twitter, Dhabiya said that she was prohibited by authorities from leaving Dubai International Airport to go to Cairo on Saturday,9/26/2020, without specific reasons. She attributed the ban to her declared stances against Zionism and normalization and expressed her fear for her freedom and her life from threats and arrests.

She addressed through her social media posts human rights organizations saying: “Please convey the message to organizations everywhere and I hold the Emirati authorities accountable for “any oppression, arrest, assassination or liquidation I am subjected to”.

Al Muhairi is a prominent Emirati poet and academic, she studied political science at Indiana University and completed her postgraduate studies at Exeter and London Universities in Britain, then the American University in Cairo, and worked as a diplomat at the Arab League, to be the first Emirati ambassador to the university.

According to Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties, many human rights violations were committed by the UAE authorities after the normalization agreement between the Emirates and Israel, signed on September 15, 2020, including imposing restrictions on the media to exclude any opinions that reject the agreement. The security authorities imposed sweeping restrictions by launching a campaign of pursuit and arbitrary arrests and have taken intimidation measures against Palestinians living in the UAE. They were threatened by deportation if not supporting the normalization treaty.

“Emirates Leaks”, an opposition website stated that the security forces in the UAE launched a campaign of arrests included Emirati citizens who spoke in private councils and participated in social media positions against the normalization agreement with Israel.

In this regard, the Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties affirms that:

– Preventing the poet Al-Muhairi from traveling contravenes the UAE’s commitment to international conventions, as the right to travel is guaranteed as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 in Article (13), which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and choice of residence within the borders of the state, and he has the right to leave any country, including his country of origin, or return to it at any time. “. Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 also states everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence and that everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

– The use of physical and moral intimidation against Anti-normalisation activists violates fundamental rights including the right to freedom of expression.

– The United Nations should activate its procedures to stop the systematic violations of human rights in the UAE.

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