The UK House of Commons is to host a debate on the human rights situation in United Arab Emirates titled “Torture and the Attack on Freedom of Speech in the United Arab Emirates” on Thursday.
The debate will be sponsored and chaired by Andy Slaughter, Labour member of the parliament and Shadow Justice Minister.
The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK), which organised the debate, claims that human rights are under attack in UAE.
“Hundreds of human rights defenders, academics and foreign nationals have been arbitrarily detained in the Emirates with no access to the outside world,” AOHR UK said in a statement sent to Ahram Online.
The organisation has accused the British government of overlooking human rights abuses to further its business interests.
It said that, while there is “torture and attack in freedom of speech” in the oil-rich Gulf state, the UK government “maintains strong diplomatic and business ties with the UAE.”
AOHR underlined in its statement that the debate in parliament on Thursday evening aimed to discuss “what can be done in the UK to end impunity in the UAE.”
The British government always says it raises human rights issues with Arab governments and officials at different levels.
The UAE embassy would not comment on the event.
Among the invited speakers in the meeting were Carl Buckley, the adviser of AOHR UK, Carla Ferstman, director of Redress, a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice, and Sue Willman, a human rights lawyer from Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors.
AOHR UK promotes itself as is a non-governmental organisation that aims to advocate human rights in the Arab World. It publishes regular reports on human rights in individual Arab countries.