United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven semiautonomous emirates. The rulers of the seven emirates constitute the Federal Supreme Council, the country’s highest legislative and executive body. The council selects a president and a vice president from its membership, and the president appoints the prime minister and cabinet. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.
During 2015, the three most significant human rights problems were the inability to change government; limitations on civil liberties (including the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and internet use); and arrests without charge, incommunicado detentions, and lengthy pretrial detentions.
Other reported human rights problems included a lack of government transparency; police and prison guard brutality; governmental interference with privacy rights, including arrests and detentions following individuals’ internet postings or commentary; and a lack of judicial independence. Domestic abuse and violence against women remained problems. Noncitizens faced legal and societal discrimination. Legal and societal discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS and based on sexual orientation and gender identity remained problems. Trafficking in persons, mistreatment and sexual abuse of foreign domestic servants and other migrant workers, and discrimination against persons with disabilities remained problems, although the government took steps to prevent them. The government restricted worker rights. Lack of governmental transparency and access made it difficult to assess the extent of many reported human rights problems, such as conditions surrounding detentions in state security cases, and discrimination and societal abuses of women and children.
The government took steps to investigate allegations of official corruption and officials who reportedly committed other violations.