Seventh anniversary of the UAE petition of reform
Seven years have passed since the submission of the “reform petition" by a 133 personalities including human rights activists, academics, consultants, former government officials, writers and others on 3 March 2011 to President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and members of the Federal Supreme Council calling for free and full election of members of The Federal National Council by all citizens. The reform petition also called for the reform of the legislation regulating the work of the Federal National Council in order to ensure full legislative and supervisory authority with the necessary constitutional amendments.
The signatories of the reform petition did not intend to undermine the regime, endanger the state security or even insult the president. In fact, they rather sought to peacefully demand the empowerment of rights and freedoms in the country in accordance with international standards guaranteed by international covenants.
However, the UAE authorities made the State Security Apparatus target the signatories of the reform petition from political activists, jurists and academics who were subjected to numerous grave violations including abuse, torture and ill-treatment which affected their personal safety and physical and moral sanctity.
Besides, different unfair trials have taken place against the signatories of the reform petition and other jurists, politicians as well as bloggers, in which there were no fair trial guarantees and the verdicts were based on ambiguous and inaccurate laws in contravention of the principle of the legality of offenses and penalties such as the Federal Law against Technical Crimes, the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Penal Code.
The UAE authorities also deprived human rights activists and the petition’s signatories including politicians from their nationality along with their wives and children and denied them the right to administrative and judicial appeal against the decision of the nationality withdrawal.