UAE detains, deports Pakistanis based on Shia background: Human Rights Watch

Dubai: Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its report on Tuesday pointed out that United Arab Emirates (UAE) has detained and deported Pakistanis based on their Shia background.

UAE forcibly detained four Pakistani men since October and deported six others, reported Dawn.

The 10 men had mostly lived and worked in the UAE for many years as managers, sales staff, CEOs of small businesses, labourers and drivers, the New York-based campaign group said in a report.

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HRW has previously said hundreds of activists, academics and lawyers are serving lengthy sentences in UAE jails. The UAE has dismissed those accusations as false and unsubstantiated, reported Dawn.

“UAE authorities released and immediately deported the six in October and November after also subjecting them to enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention for between three weeks and five months,” the HRW report said.

One of the four men who remain in detention was able to call his family after six months. The family neither knows where authorities are holding him nor why he was detained, the report said.

The rights group said it had spoken with family members who said they knew of other Pakistani Shias who had been picked up by UAE authorities since mid-September.

“Reports of UAE authorities arbitrarily targeting Shia residents, whether Lebanese, Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani or otherwise, often emerge at times of increased regional tensions,” HRW said.

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