quinta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2020

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Governo dos Emirados Árabes policia palestras da conferência anual da IBA

Nesta semana, mais de 5 mil advogados de todo o mundo, entre eles uma centena e meia de brasileiros, estão reunidos em Dubai, nos Emirados Árabes Unidos, para a conferência anual da IBA (International Bar Association). Cada ano ela se dá em um ponto do globo, e este ano o Oriente Médio foi o local escolhido. No entanto, o que era para ser uma reunião animada, na qual grandes escritórios do planeta promovem festas para fazer contatos, está se transformando num bafafá só. Isso porque, segundo boato que correu velozmente entre os participantes, o governo dos Emirados Árabes vem policiando o teor das palestras.

quinta-feira, 3 de novembro de 2011

International Bar Association Annual Conference

Governo dos Emirados Árabes policia palestras da conferência anual da IBA

Nesta semana, mais de 5 mil advogados de todo o mundo, entre eles uma centena e meia de brasileiros, estão reunidos em Dubai, nos Emirados Árabes Unidos, para a conferência anual da IBA (International Bar Association).

Cada ano ela se dá em um ponto do globo, e este ano o Oriente Médio foi o local escolhido. No entanto, o que era para ser uma reunião animada, na qual grandes escritórios do planeta promovem festas para fazer contatos, está se transformando num bafafá só. Isso porque, segundo boato que correu velozmente entre os participantes, o governo dos Emirados Árabes vem policiando o teor das palestras.

Há algumas horas, para tentar acalmar os ânimos, circulou-se um informe oficial (v. abaixo). Mas, em vez de amainar o clima desértico, só aqueceu as coisas. No texto, os organizadores contam que, poucas semanas antes do evento, receberam uma mensagem dos Emirados Árabes Unidos ordenando que a conferência fosse imediatamente cancelada porque seu conteúdo poderia precipitar a instabilidade na região.

A IBA tentou negociar, alterando certas coisas e cancelando uma palestra que iria tratar da "Mulher e o Islamismo". Diz a IBA, diplomático, que isso foi uma iniciativa dele mesmo, o que não faz sentido, ainda mais diante da notícia de que houve pressão por parte do governo local. Enfim, grandes advogados do mundo, acostumados a não ter, de modo algum, a palavra cassada, acostumados a expor livremente suas ideias, estão sofrendo pressões neste que é o maior encontro anual de advogados.

Outra informação é de que membros do serviço de segurança dos Emirados Árabes Unidos estariam, a todo momento, misturados entre os conferencistas de modo a "fiscalizar" tudo.

Veja abaixo as notícias sobre o caso.

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Comunicado

Dear Colleagues,

You may have heard of reports about an action taken with respect to our Conference by a part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government: its security branch. As the news of this intervention has entered the public domain, please see the following, to ensure you have a clear picture of what has happened.

In the years of planning this Annual Conference in Dubai, we have received firm support and assistance from the Dubai authorities. However, five weeks ago the IBA received an unprecedented message from the UAE security branch that the IBA Annual Conference was to be cancelled immediately because its content might precipitate instability in the region. As you know, the IBA is a complex organisation which brings together experts in all aspects of international and cross-border law in both the commercial and human rights arenas to pursue discussions and make progress in their specialisms.

We did not want to jeopardise the holding of the Conference, as we felt it was necessary to pursue these important agendas, yet also did not want to compromise on fundamental elements such as freedom of association and freedom of speech on all issues. The IBA, therefore, attempted to negotiate terms on which the Conference could take place. No sessions have been censored, and no requests were made (by the UAE or the IBA) for any changes to speakers, but efforts were made to retitle seven sessions.

The session descriptions now focus more on standards of international law, in an effort to clarify any misconception that they were particularly targeting the GCC countries. We made it clear to the authorities that we expect that discussions in these sessions will include regional issues and we insisted that the rights of speakers and delegates in those sessions are protected to enable them to speak freely on any aspects of those issues on which they wish to engage. We received no further comments and to date, this has been the case. Just one of these seven sessions, on Women and Islam, was cancelled, but this action was taken by the Committee Officers and not by the authorities, as they felt that, even though the speakers remained the same, the new session title might not attract sufficient attendance.

By taking these steps we were able to restore the cancelled Conference, and thus to recreate the space to discuss all these issues in the UAE. We have been impressed by the level of interest and engagement of Conference audiences, including delegates and media from the region, in issues of human rights and freedoms, and social justice, as well as on business themes, and by the voices of speakers from countries such as Syria, Egypt and Afghanistan. We believe this philosophy of engagement and inclusion, which has always been a core part of the IBA's approach, has been more than justified by the remarkable success and active dialogue which we can all see at this Conference.

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Financial Post

Julius Meltnitzer: IBA caves to threats from United Arab Emirates

International Bar Association authorities compromised with the United Arab Emirates after the UAE's security branch threatened to cancel the IBA Annual Conference currently being held in Dubai because "its content might precipitate instability in the region."

An internal memo sent to IBA members today indicates that seven sessions were "retitled" to satisfy the UAE. According to the memo, "The session descriptions now focus more on standards of international law, in an effort to clarify any misconception that they were particularly targeting the GCC countries."

However, one of the sessions, Women and Islam, was cancelled. The memo insists that "this action was taken by the Committee officers and not by the authorities, as they felt that, even though the speakers remained the same, the new session title might not attract sufficient attendance."

Pardon the thought but if that isn't direct censorship, it is certainly indirect censorship. Surely the IBA knows the difference between form and substance. Watering down a title so a seminar is no longer attractive to members is hardly the type of conduct one would expect from an organization like the IBA.

However that may be, the memo also states that no sessions were censored, and no speakers changed. It goes on to say that "We made it clear to the authorities that we expect that discussions in these sessions will include regional issues and we insisted that the rights of speakers and delegates in those sessions are protected to enable them to speak freely on any aspects of those issues on which they wish to engage." The UAE did not pursue the issue, but it's hard not wonder what the women of Islam think about the IBA.

The memo ends with a request that media questions be referred to an IBA press officer. The IBA site, which includes conference coverage, makes no mention of the debacle.

Shame!

Shame!

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The Globe And Mail

UAE threatened to cancel law conference in Dubai

The International Bar Association says its annual conference in Dubai, now under way, was nearly cancelled by local security officials five weeks ago over concern "its content might precipitate instability in the region."

The government of the United Arab Emirates and others in the region have been on edge since the Arab Spring revolutions sparked mass demonstrations and saw armed rebellions overthrow dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and most recently Libya.

The conference started on Sunday after talks with officials resulted in the rewording of titles and descriptions of several conference sessions and the cancellation of one event on "women and Islam."

In an e-mail sent to delegates Wednesday and obtained by The Globe and Mail, the IBA - which has 45,000 member lawyers worldwide - said that five weeks ago, nervous security officials with the United Arab Emirates abruptly demanded that the event be cancelled.

The group's annual conference, held last year in Vancouver, usually attracts 5,000 lawyers from all over the world and features speakers and discussions among delegates on a wide rage of topics in international and cross-border law, including human rights.

Speakers at this year's event include Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency who is now seeking the Egyptian presidency.

The IBA e-mail says negotiations with UAE officials allowed the conference to go ahead, as long as organizers changed the titles and descriptions of seven sessions. The blurbs describing those sessions "now focus more on standards of international law, in an effort to clarify any misconception that they were particularly targeting [Persian Gulf] countries," the IBA said.

The organization says no sessions were censored, and says no requests were made by either UAE or IBA officials for any changes to speakers' lists.

"We made it clear to the authorities that we expect that discussions in these sessions will include regional issues and we insisted that the rights of speakers and delegates in those sessions are protected to enable them to speak freely on any aspects of those issues on which they wish to engage," the IBA e-mail said. "We received no further comments and to date, this has been the case."

The IBA decided to cancel one planned session, but said it made the decision to do so on its own. The e-mail says the IBA believed that a new title for a planned session, on women and Islam, might not "attract sufficient attendance."

The IBA defended its moves to mollify UAE authorities and save the conference, which runs until Friday, saying that going ahead created a space to discuss human rights in the region.

"We believe this philosophy of engagement and inclusion, which has always been a core part of the IBA's approach, has been more than justified by the remarkable success and active dialogue which we can all see at this conference," the e-mail reads.

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Por: Redação do Migalhas

Atualizado em: 3/11/2011 10:20