abhors all forms of racism and discrimination
Khaleej Times 03 Sept 2001. 15 Jamadi Al Thani, 1422.
DURBAN - The UAE
has reiterated that it abhors all forms of racism and this
is enshrined in its constitution and it has promulgated
laws against all forms of racism.
Addressing the UN conference against racism, Minister of
Justice, Islamic Affairs and Auqaf Mohammed bin Nakhira Al
Dhaheri said that the UAE was increasingly attaching more
importance to matters relating to expatriate workers to
further improve their standard of living.
He said that the UAE constitution stated that all were
equal before the law. "It has also provided for the
rights of mothers and children for social and healthcare,
among other rights," he said, adding that all
monotheist religions, including Islam, which formed the
basis of the UAE's constitution, proclaimed humanity and
dignity for all human beings, irrespective of their colour,
race or creed, and opposed racism in all forms.
Mr Dhaheri said that Islam clearly stated that all human
beings, people and individuals were one family, with one
origin. "Islam calls for peaceful co-existence and
interaction among all human beings on the basis of respect
for basic human rights, equality among all human beings,
tolerance and respect for diversity and
dissimilarity," he said.
He said that Islam was also against all forms of
discrimination. He said that based on his country's belief
in equality and human rights for all, the UAE was a
signatory to a number of agreements on human rights,
including the child rights conventions of the United
Nations. He said: "The UAE is also a signatory to
eight agreements of the International Labour Organisation
(ILO) and applies strictly the tenets of the human rights
declaration and will soon ratify the agreement on
prevention of all forms of discrimination against
Mr Dhaheri said despite efforts made by the international
community to eradicate all forms of discrimination and
racism, racial practices persisted in many parts of the
world and millions of people continued to suffer the
agonies of racism and discrimination. He urged the
conference to highlight all sources of discrimination and
racism in this modern world.
He pointed out that occupation of lands is one of the most
dangerous forms of violation of human rights. "Lots
of innocent lives are being lost through repressive
practices of the occupier, especially in occupied Arab
lands," he said.
Mr Dhaheri said: "What is happening in Palestinian
territories, especially in occupied Jerusalem, which is of
great religious importance to the three monotheist
religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, in Golan
Heights and areas in the Israeli-occupied areas in
Lebanon, is a blatant violation of all international
He said the Israeli government's repressive policies,
including the killing of Palestinian children, organised
assassinations and the use of advanced and sophisticated
weapons to kill, maim and destroy Palestinian lives and
property, in addition to the building of Jewish
settlements, the seizure of Palestinian lands, constituted
a stark violation of human rights and represented another
form of racial discrimination.
"The UAE, therefore, pleads with the conference to
include in its final document the sufferings of the
victims of racial discrimination, including the
Palestinian people," Mr Dhaheri said.
He added: "We demand from the international community
international protection for the Palestinian people,
abrogation of all discriminatory laws and legislations, to
bring an end to racist practices against the Palestinians
and to enable them to exercise their basic rights,
including the right to live with dignity, freedom and the
right to self-determination."
He said that approval of the Durban conference document
without any discrimination for the victims of racial
discrimination, whoever they were, would contribute
positively to the success of the conference, which would
also reflect positively on the international efforts to
fight racism and racial discrimination. - Wam
women among pardoned prisoners
By Muawia E. Ibrahim 19 June 2001. 27 Rabi Al Awwal, 1422
PRISON authorities in the country have released all UAE
nationals covered by the amnesty granted by the President,
His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The authorities also started releasing expatriate
prisoners on Sunday, prison sources said yesterday. The
sources said the number of prisoners covered by the
amnesty represented 65 per cent of the total number of
prisoners in jails in the country.
There are 1,200 nationals and around 5,300 expatriates
among the prisoners pardoned, the total number being about
6,500 including 2,000 women - both nationals and
The expatriate prisoners are of different nationalities,
mainly Asians, Arabs and Africans, convicted of crimes
ranging from drug-trafficking, financial crimes to
forgery, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the National Consultative Council (NCC)
yesterday praised Shaikh Zayed's noble gesture of
releasing more prisoners, saying that the pardon would
give them another chance to join the society and become
"The noble deed of His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan to order release of more than 6,000
prisoners comes in line with his wise policy to ease
suffering of the convicts, both citizens and
residents," a statement delivered by Speaker Abdullah
Al Masoud at a meeting of the council yesterday.
The NCC thanked the President for the gesture and wished
him long life and good health.
The meeting discussed a report on development in the
Eastern Region. The report lauded the the leadership for
its care and continuous support for the country and its
people with the aim of ensuring a comprehensive
development for the country, especially the Eastern
Region, which is being transformed into a tourist and
The council commended the law No.7 of 2000, which called
for the setting up of a general authority for economic
development and tourist promotion of Al Ain City and the
Eastern Region as a whole.