In a disturbing turn of events, a Lebanese national held in detention in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has tragically died under mysterious circumstances. The death of Ghazi Ezzeddine, 55, from Tire in southern Lebanon, has raised serious concerns about the UAE’s eligibility to host the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28). As the news of this detainee’s demise and alleged torture surfaces, it shines a spotlight on the UAE’s grave human rights record and calls into question the legitimacy of its role as host for the esteemed global climate summit.
Death Of Ghazi Ezzeddine
Details surrounding Ezzeddine’s death remain shrouded in uncertainty, with conflicting reports emerging from various sources. A Lebanese diplomatic source confirmed the unfortunate passing of Ezzeddine in custody but was unable to provide additional information regarding the exact date and circumstances of his death. The lack of transparency surrounding the incident only adds to the growing skepticism surrounding the UAE’s human rights practices.
Lebanese news sites have claimed that Ezzeddine passed away on May 4, allegedly as a result of torture endured during his two-month-long interrogation. Shockingly, the Emirati authorities reportedly buried his body within the UAE, depriving his family of the right to repatriate his remains. This callous disregard for basic human dignity has sent shockwaves through the international community, prompting concerns about the treatment of detainees in the UAE.
It is worth noting that this is not an isolated incident. Over the past few years, several Lebanese nationals, primarily Shia Muslims, residing in the UAE have faced unjust imprisonment and alleged mistreatment due to their perceived associations with Hezbollah. The Emirati government, along with several other Gulf monarchies, has classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, resulting in the arbitrary detention and sentencing of individuals without due process.
In September 2021, thanks to the mediation efforts of General Abbas Ibrahim, former director of the Lebanese General Security, two Lebanese detainees were released and safely returned to Beirut. Similarly, in February 2021, nine other Lebanese detainees were freed under similar circumstances. These incidents shed light on a disturbing pattern of human rights abuses that cannot be ignored.
The COP28, a significant international event focused on addressing the pressing issue of climate change, carries immense symbolic importance. As a gathering of nations committed to tackling the global climate crisis, it is essential that the host country upholds the highest standards of human rights, transparency, and accountability. The UAE’s track record in these areas raises serious doubts about its eligibility to host such a pivotal conference.
If the UAE were to host COP28, it would risk overshadowing the critical environmental discussions taking place. The international community must question whether a country with a questionable human rights record and a lack of transparency can truly represent the values and principles necessary for meaningful progress in combating climate change.
Therefore, a growing chorus of voices is calling for a boycott of COP28 in the UAE. Supporters argue that such a move would send a clear message that the global community stands united against human rights violations and demands accountability from host countries. By refusing to participate in a summit hosted by a nation with a questionable track record, participants would underscore their commitment to safeguarding human rights alongside addressing the urgent climate crisis.
As the international community reflects on the shocking news of Ghazi Ezzeddine’s tragic death and the broader human rights concerns in the UAE, the question of the country’s eligibility to host COP28 demands immediate attention. The world must rally behind the principles of justice, transparency, and human rights, which are integral to combating climate change effectively.
Calls for an alternative host for COP28
Calls for an alternative host for COP28 are gaining momentum. Countries with strong human rights records and a demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability are being suggested as potential replacements. Such a change in venue would ensure that the focus remains squarely on addressing the pressing environmental challenges without compromising the principles of human rights and justice.
Additionally, it is crucial for the international community to exert pressure on the UAE to address its human rights abuses and bring about meaningful reforms. Boycotting COP28 in the UAE would serve as a powerful message, compelling the Emirati government to take concrete actions to rectify its human rights record. This would not only safeguard the dignity and well-being of individuals but also contribute to creating an environment conducive to open dialogue and progress on climate change.
Moreover, the concerns raised by Ezzeddine’s death and the broader issue of human rights in the UAE should prompt a thorough investigation into the treatment of detainees and the conditions within Emirati detention facilities. The international community, human rights organizations, and diplomatic channels must push for transparency, demanding a comprehensive inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Ezzeddine’s death and the treatment of other detainees.