The United Arab Emirates is a relatively newly established state made of a group of scattered emirates, under the blessing of the United Kingdom, the sponsor of UAE’s affairs.
The laws were some of the tribal customs established by Al Nahyan tribes and the tribes loyal to them, in addition to the rulings of the British Commissioner in the Gulf region.
This strange combination of laws made the legal systems very ambiguous and did not give a clear picture of how the country and the discovered oil wealth were managed, nor how to dispose of its revenues. The economic life of an Emirati citizen is based on what the state provides him, without having the right to know how this money is spent and who gets most of it.
This situation was accepted by many Emirati citizens as an implicit agreement to enjoy some material rights without interfering in the affairs of the state’s administration.
However, there is a group of citizens who refused to be stripped of their political and civil rights. This group tried to gain the right to vote and build a civil constitution that provides political and social life where justice prevails.
These demands did not appeal to the ruling families in the Emirates, who faced it with the policy of enforced disappearance against everyone without exception, whether citizens or some princes who were calling for a political climate and freedoms guaranteed by international laws and norms.
These policies led many opponents to seek protection and save their lives by moving to other countries, and those who weren’t able to flee the country got forcibly disappeared or were imprisoned under the palaces of the rulers of the Emirates.
In the Arab Spring of 2011, those demanding political and civil rights in the UAE thought they could achieve dramatic changes. However, they were treated violently and cruelly according to laws that were deliberately formulated as a tool of repression.
These laws were characterized by a set of attributes that made them a tool to suppress opponents, and these features include:
– calling peaceful political activities as threats to state security.
– Imposing severe restrictions on public gatherings and demonstrations.
– Banning and dissolving independent NGOs and political opposition groups.
– Silencing and imprisoning founders of independent NGOs.
These tools turned citizens demanding their rights into terrorists posing threats to the security of the state, and the situation was made worse by the spread of the Coronavirus, which the state used as a tool to suppress freedoms and detaining dissidents.
The international silence helped suppress innocent people in UAE as the UAE is beneficial for influential countries such as UAE, UK, Germany, and other countries in the west.
The international community is responsible for prosecuting and holding these states accountable for complying with the UAE.
UAE should not be dealt with as a state above the law, like Israel. Playing double standards will only bring more tension and would have a negative impact on those countries like the case of Syria, where hundreds of thousands of refugees fled to these countries, causing countless economic and social problems.