HRW: Expo 2020 a Facade to UAE Human Rights Abuses
Human Rights Watch says the UAE is using Expo 2020 Dubai to "whitewash its image."
Human Rights Watch considered that the UAE is using Dubai Expo 2020 to promote a "public image of openness that is at odds with the government’s efforts to prevent scrutiny of its rampant systemic human rights violations."
HRW's Deputy Middle East Director, Michael Page, criticized the UAE's double standards, saying that dozens of the Emirate's "peaceful domestic critics have been arrested, railroaded in blatantly unfair trials, and condemned to many years in prison simply for trying to express their ideas on governance and human rights." He added that the Expo gives the UAE another chance to present itself to the world as a country of tolerance and respect for human rights while preventing political expression, public discourse, and activism.
Page also said that countries showcasing their pavilions at the Dubai Expo should help prevent the UAE's attempts to whitewash itself "by either advocating for the UAE to unconditionally release all those unjustly detained for exercising their right to free expression and to regularly open up the country, including its jails and its courts, to scrutiny by independent researchers and monitors, or not participate [sic] in the Expo," adding that governments and businesses have a human rights responsibility to avoid helping the UAE "whitewash its abuses."
On September 17, the EU Parliament voted for a resolution condemning the UAE's human rights abuses, focusing on the issue of human rights advocate Ahmad Mansour and the continued use of torture and persecution of detainees.