UAE 'appalling' human rights record rapped ahead of Formula 1 Grand Prix finale

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UAE 'appalling' human rights record rapped ahead of Formula 1 Grand Prix finale

Photo: AFP

Rights group Amnesty International on Friday deplored the "ongoing human rights crisis" in the United Arab Emirates, whose capital is hosting the Formula 1 Grand Prix season finale this weekend.


"As sports fans around the world turn their eyes to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE...the country’s appalling human rights record continues to escape scrutiny," said Amnesty’s Middle East deputy director of campaigns, Samah Hadid.

“The show of fast cars and celebrities is nothing more than a distraction from an ongoing human rights crisis," said Hadid.

Over 60 political prisoners are in jail after unfair trials, while people are being tortured and arrested for criticising the government and enforced disappearances are going unchecked, Amnesty alleges.

Behind the glamour of the Grand Prix, human rights "languish in the pit lane" in the federation of seven emirates, the group said.

Amnesty urged the international community to pressure UAE authorities to repeal harsh legislation criminalising peaceful freedom of expression and to release prisoners of conscience.

“With their crackdown on peaceful activism, the UAE authorities have displayed contempt for due process and the rule of law, and the international community has turned a blind eye for too long," the group said.



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