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STOCKHOLM – Skyline International has stated today that the Pope Francis’ visit to the United Arab Emirates should be an appropriate to claim the UAE to stop its privacy violations, espionage and hacking violations.

In a press statement, the Stockholm-based human rights organization urged the Pope to present the widespread violations of privacy, espionage and infiltrations against citizens and expatriates in meetings with UAE officials.

Skyline international has confirmed that the first visit to the Gulf States by UAE represents an opportunity to highlight the continues suppression campaign against freedom of expression in the state, which requires the Pope Francis to address the issues of human rights defenders imprisoned in the UAE

Skyline  has confirmed that the UAE attempts to consider the  2019 a year of Tolerance and pursuit to make use of the Pope’s visit to assert its respect of diversity should be  accompanied with immediate actions, including the release of prisoners of conscience and the allowance of public freedoms and peaceful opposition.

Skyline International has noted that since 2011 the UAE authorities have been suppressing their opponents and critics, including activist’s, lawyers, academics, journalists through arbitrary arrests, forced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment.

Also, Skyline International has called the Pope to  raise what the Reuters News Agency uncovered about a group of former US intelligence agents spying for the sake of  UAE in the so-called Raven Operation “The Black Raven” 

Reuters has published a report stating that the developed spy device “Karma” has enabled UAE to keep tabs over hundreds of persons. The key of target was the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and his brother and a number of close advisers.

Skyline International has revealed in a previous report that the UAE recruited international Internet hackers to hack international and  regional institutions and websites, activists and journalists. 

The foundation has pointed out the UAE submitted  bids for work offers to those having experience on cyber and hacking in the internet through “DarkMatter” company that governmentally  funded fields entitled “cyber security”. This have been done on the pretext of combating cyber and harmful electronic attacks, and providing  databases to secure communication. 

Skyline has unleashed that the Emirati company hired these experts from outside UAE to make major spying operations mainly on its citizens, and then hack accounts of activists abroad and on websites. The company’s employers number is around 400.

Skyline has warned that prosecution and electronic surveillance development  in the UAE is highly disturbing, as hacking and surveillance operations are considered as a serious violation of human rights. Such operations are also highly  punishable by laws especially in Western Countries. As a result, the UAE is required today to respect these laws and stop prosecuting activists and journalists and hacking institutions and companies and tampering with their interests.  

The Pope will participate on Monday (3 Febreuary) in a religious meeting with Seikh Ahmed Al- Tayeb and representatives of other faiths. The meeting will be before the Pope presiding over a football Stadium in the UAE capital, heading a gathering expected by local newspapers to be the largest in the history of the Gulf State.

The Pope’s visit to UAE comes in a time where the country faces criticism from rights organizations as it has a role in the war happening in the neighboring Yemen where thousands of civilians were killed. Also, the UAE states are accused of pursing activists working human rights field. 

On 31, December, an Emirate court has upheld the detention of the Emeriti human rights activist, Ahmed Mansour for 10 years as he criticized authorities on Social Media.