United Arab Emirates: The Gulf Centre for Human Rights launches report, “Patterns of Torture in the UAE”


On 11 February 2022, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) will launch a report entitled, “Patterns of Torture in the United Arab Emirates.”

2022 marks the tenth anniversary of the arrest and detention of the UAE94, a group of human rights defenders (HRDs), lawyers, judges, teachers, academics and students who peacefully advocated for political reform. Coming ten years after this watershed moment for human rights and civic freedoms in the UAE, the report unequivocally demonstrates that in the intervening decade, the UAE has relied heavily on torture to silence peaceful dissenting voices. The key patterns of torture that emerge are: the use of arbitrary arrest, detention and enforced disappearances to perpetrate torture with impunity; the punishment and further torture of those who dare to speak out about their conditions of detention and; the complicity of companies and the international community in the systematic perpetration of torture in the UAE.

Commenting on this latest instalment in GCHR’s series of reports documenting patterns of torture in the Gulf region, GCHR Executive Director Khalid Ibrahim stated, “This report, which is rich with documented facts and detailed case studies, confirms that torture in the UAE is systematic. Furthermore, as a totalitarian state, torture is carried out on direct instructions from the highest authorities in the country, including the Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior since 2015, Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, the current head of Interpol.”

In order to break the cycle of impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of torture in the UAE, the report recommends that the UAE bring its Penal Code and legislation on torture, counter-terrorism and cybercrime in line with international human rights standards. In addition,GCHR calls for the immediate release of all human rights defenders, prisoners of conscience and political prisoners in the UAE and urges the international community to send a clear message to the UAE that the perpetration of torture is unacceptable. In this regard, the international community must comply with the universal jurisdiction obligation to prosecute alleged perpetrators of torture in their domestic courts and must conduct thorough human rights due diligence in trade relations, economic, military and technological cooperation with the UAE.

For the full report click HERE.