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UN Authority Figures

UN Human Rights Council: United Arab Emirates

A federal decree, passed in the UAE in November 2012, outlines protections for the state and its rulers, effectively turning online criticism into an offense punishable by years of jail time, or deportation for foreign nationals. The decree "stipulates penalties of imprisonment on any person publishing any information, news, caricatures or any other kind of pictures that would pose threats to the security of the state and to its highest interests" and "penalties of imprisonment on any person creating or running an electronic site or any information technology means to engage in, or to call for, the overthrow of the system of government of the state or to seize it". The law also forbids ridiculing Islam.

Mission of the Human Rights Council:
"The General Assembly...2. Decides that the Council shall be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner; 3. Decides also that the Council should address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and make recommendations thereon..." (Resolution 60/251)

United Arab Emirates' Term of office: January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2015

United Arab Emirates' Record on human rights:
"The legal punishment for conversion from Islam is death... The government defines all citizens as Muslims...Muslim women are not permitted to marry non-Muslim men. Because Islam does not consider marriage between a non-Muslim man and a Muslim woman as valid, both parties to such a union would be subject to arrest, trial, and imprisonment on grounds such as fornication.... Sharia (Islamic law) courts had the option of imposing flogging as punishment for adultery, prostitution, consensual premarital sex, pregnancy outside marriage, defamation of character, and drug or alcohol abuse... the law prohibits criticism of rulers and speech that may create or encourage social unrest... The penal code allows men to use physical means, including violence, at their discretion against female and minor family members... domestic abuse against women, including spousal abuse, remained a problem...female victims of rape or sexual crimes faced the possibility of prosecution instead of assistance from government authorities... Under Sharia the death penalty is the punishment for individuals who engage in consensual homosexual activity... Domestic workers routinely were subject to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. For example, on September 17, local press reported a Filipina housemaid fled her employers' residence in Umm Al Quwain after she was beaten regularly, burned with a hot iron, and forced to work seven days a week without pay for three years." (State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2011, United Arab Emirates)