UAE urged to allow appeals for expelled Lebanese, Gazans



WASHINGTON- A leading rights group Monday urged the United Arab Emirates to allow hundreds of deported Lebanese citizens and people from Gaza to appeal their expulsions.
The UAE has expelled at least 120 Lebanese families and "scores of Palestinians, mainly from Gaza," since June 2009 without due process, charged Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a letter to the UAE government.



"It's now been more than a year since the UAE started deporting hundreds of Lebanese and Gazans, and the government has yet to give any adequate justification," said Sarah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.
Interrogations of deportees surrounding their affiliation to Hezbollah and other groups also "raise concerns that the expulsions were politically motivated," said HRW.
Governments have the right under international law to regulate the presence of foreigners in the country, but they are also constrained in the deportation process, insisted the rights group.
"The UAE prides itself as a land of opportunity for Arabs from across the region, but these cases illustrate that these opportunities rest on shifting sands," Whitson said.
HRW urged the UAE government to suspend any deportation pending an appeal and to "publicly state the steps each deported person wishing to appeal his or her expulsion order may take."
In the UAE meanwhile, US Middle East envoy George Mitchell held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan Monday on the ongoing efforts to engage Israel and the Palestinians in direct peace talks.
The state news agency there said the pair discussed steps "to achieve a tangible progress in the Palestinian-Israeli talks, in a way that would guarantee establishing an independent and viable Palestinian state."
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Monday, July 19th 2010
AFP
           


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