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Human rights groups say the incident is an attempt to whitewash the UAE’s image and a vague crackdown on dissent, freedom of expression.

A prominent human rights group, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has condemned the Dubai Expo 2020 as an attempt to shed light on human rights abuses in the Gulf.

Appearing as the first world fair in the Middle East, the expo is part of a decades-long campaign in the United Arab Emirates to “whitewash its image and obscure its abuse,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement.

He called on the countries participating in the month-long event, which has been in development for eight years, not to get complicated. The shocking message came just days after the European Parliament called on member states to boycott the expo, citing rights concerns.

“Expo 2020 is another opportunity for the UAE to falsely present itself as open, tolerant and respectful around the world while closing the space for politics, public discourse and activism,” Page said.

Visitors walk at the Dubai Expo 2020 [File: Karim Sahib/AFP]

Organizers expect the Dubai Expo, which was postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic, to attract 25 million visitors. The theme is “Connecting the Mind, Creating the Future,” according to the Bureau International Day Exposure, an international government organization that oversees the World Fair.

HRW said the message was “contradictory” to the rights violations committed by the UAE.

The organization specifically alleges that the UAE has “continuously attacked freedom of expression and association, arrested and prosecuted hundreds of independent lawyers, judges, teachers, students and activists, and shut down important civil society organizations and offices abroad.” Effectively crushes any space for dissent “.

The agency noted the continued denial of the government by UN experts and human rights researchers, as well as critical journalists and academics.

It added that UN human rights experts had not been allowed to enter the country since its subsequent report in 2014, when a UN special rapporteur inspected the independence of judges and criticized the lack of judicial independence.

HRW also mentioned “possible surveillance of the government’s media”.

During an inaugural ceremony on Thursday night, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates and indeed the ruler, said the expo highlights the “principle of this territory” as a meeting place for culture and tolerance.

According to the organizers, 1,192 countries will be represented in the 1922-day event.

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