x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

FNC to set up UAE human-rights committee

The Federal National Council (FNC) has ordered the creation of a specialised committee to support the country's human-rights efforts at home and abroad.

The Federal National Council (FNC) has ordered the creation of a specialised committee to support the country's human-rights efforts at home and abroad.

The committee, approved by all FNC members during Tuesday's session in Abu Dhabi, is important because the UAE is a signatory of several international and regional human-rights treaties and conventions.

The committee will be tasked with carrying out studies and reports for the government, rather than individual departments.

Similar committees already exist in areas such as health and elections.

Nations have leeway to protect national security without being considered as violating human rights, for example by monitoring freedom of expression.

"If people badly use freedom of expression, and participate in demonstrations that impose religious intolerance or pushing others to commit anti- government crimes, the government has the right to interfere and limit those freedoms, and the parliament has the right to approve laws that run this," the FNC report said.

At a recent FNC meeting, Emiratis called for action to provide rebuttals when the UAE faces inaccurate criticism overseas. It followed a resolution by the European Parliament in October that criticised the nation's human-rights record.

hdajani@thenational.ae