The trial of Emirati academic Nasser bin-Ghaith, whom authorities forcibly disappeared in August 2015 and whose whereabouts remained unknown at time of writing, began at the Federal Supreme Court in April 2016.
Media reports on the trial indicate that he is accused of violating various provisions of the penal code, a 2012 cybercrime law, and a 2014 counterterrorism law.
The research identified several pieces of information suggesting a connection between the operator and the UAE government.
In August 2016, Apple issued a software update to all i Phone users after Citizen Lab identified flaws in its operating system that an Israel-based software company, NSO, had exploited in an attempt to place spyware on the phone of leading Emirati human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor.
The United Arab Emirates’ intolerance of criticism continued in 2016 with the prosecution of an Emirati academic and a Jordanian journalist, among others, for exercising their right to free expression.
UAE courts acquitted several Libyan nationals whom they forcibly disappeared in 2015, and who had made credible allegations of torture in state security detention.
UAE residents known to have spoken with international rights groups are at serious risk of arbitrary detention and imprisonment.
The UAE’s 2014 counterterrorism law provides for the death penalty for people whose activities are found to “undermine national unity or social peace,” neither of which are defined in the law.
A Labor Ministry decree outlining the rules for terminating employment and granting work permits to new employees took effect in 2016.
The special rapporteur on torture said he had received credible information that authorities subjected the men to torture.
In May 2016, the Federal Supreme Court acquitted the men of having links to armed groups in Libya.
In 2010, the Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling—citing the penal code—that sanctions husbands’ beating and inflicting other forms of punishment or coercion on their wives, provided they do not leave physical marks. Article 53 of the UAE's penal code allows the imposition of “chastisement by a husband to his wife and the chastisement of minor children” so long as the assault does not exceed the limits prescribed by Sharia, or Islamic law.
The law on juvenile offenders provides that the punishment of whipping may be imposed on children over the age of 16 for murder, assault and battery, alcohol-related offences, theft, or sexual intercourse outside marriage.