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Human rights coalition calls for demonstrations in Geneva in solidarity with Arab detainees in the UAE

A coalition focused on human rights in the Arab countries, which includes 13 European human rights organisations, has called for a demonstration to take place in front of the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on Thursday, to protest against the UAE's continued detention of 204 people "in inhumane conditions" and "without specific charges", Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

Safwa Issa, the executive director of the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights, one of the members of the coalition, told Anadolu that: "Among those detained are 108 UAE nationals, 28 Egyptians, six Algerians, five Tunisians, 11 Yemenis, three Qataris, three Syrians, three Palestinians and three Comorians, as well as one detainee from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. There is conflicting information about the existence of Libyan prisoners, with numbers ranging between nine and 30 detainees."

She said that: "The organisations that are calling for a demonstration demand that the UAE authorities reveal the fate of these people and publish information about their places of detention, in addition to allowing their families to visit them. The organisations also strongly condemn the human rights abuses that the detainees are suffering."

She added that: "The UAE state has been arresting activists and human rights activists from different nationalities since 2012; some of them are languishing, to date, in the UAE jails and some of them have been subject to torture and cruel and degrading treatment."

According to the coalition, several reports issued by international human rights organisations confirm that detainees in the UAE have been subjected to disappearances and detentions in secret prisons for long periods of time, without the knowledge of their parents nor with any lawyer present, resulting in many violations of their rights.

Anadolu noted that it was not possible to get an official response from the UAE authorities on such accusations at the time this story went to press.

The alliance of human rights organisations includes: the International Centre For Justice and Human Rights, Rights for All, Libyan Organisation of Solidarity, Organisation of Justice for Egypt, the Euromid Observer for Human Rights, Coalition of Egyptians in Europe for Human Rights, Association of Victims of Torture in Tunisia, Libyan Centre for Freedoms and Development, Organisation of the Libyan Community in Switzerland, the UK-based Emirates Centre for Human Rights, the British Sergeant for Human Rights , the Austrian Friends of Humanity Association and the Association of the Families of Libyan Prisoners in the UAE.

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