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  • Detained in Dubai

UAE influence a human rights catastrophe

UAE influence a human rights catastrophe, with emboldened acts of extrajudicial kidnappings, hacking, piracy and torture.
UAE extrajudicial kidnappings, hacking, piracy and torture: a human rights catastrophe

Two US citizens and one Emirati have been charged with acting and conspiring to act as agents of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018, without registering as lobbyists for a foreign government. One American, Thomas Joseph Barrack, is also charged with making false statements to investigators and obstruction of justice. Barrack was an advisor to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, raising questions about the UAE’s influence over his administration’s policy towards the oil-rich Gulf nation.

The larger issue, according to regional expert and CEO of Due Process International and Detained in Dubai, Radha Stirling, is the UAE’s influence in Washington overall. Stirling, who works on behalf of foreign nationals abused by the legal system in the United Arab Emirates, has documented endemic human rights violations and judicial malpractice in the country, and says the UAE continues to enjoy immunity for its actions. “Obviously, disclosure is important, both legally and ethically,” Stirling commented on the case, “But I am not particularly comfortable with the influence the UAE wields in Washington either way. There are at least 20 different firms registered as foreign agents working for the UAE, being paid tens of millions of dollars. UAE lobbyists have dealt with hundreds of congressional offices in the past 5 years, they coordinate with think tanks, fund institutes, and work with every major media outlet. All of that is disclosed, legal, and obviously impacts US policy in favour of the UAE. What we learn from this case is what we should already know: the UAE is relentless in trying to control Western policy in the Gulf, and will stop at nothing to obscure