Dubai: Human Rights Watch has slammed a
ruling by an Emirati court which condones the beating of wives
by their husbands, saying it sends out a signal that violence
against women and children is acceptable.
According to press reports, the United Arab Emirates`
Federal Supreme Court in a ruling released on Sunday said "a
man has the right to discipline his wife and children provided
he does not leave physical marks."
Nadya Khalife, Middle East women`s rights researcher at
HRW, said in a statement the ruling indicated acceptance of
domestic violence which "should never be tolerated under any
"This ruling by the United Arab Emirates` highest court
is evidence that the authorities consider violence against
women and children to be completely acceptable," Khalife said
in a statement yesterday.
The New York-based group urged the UAE government "to
repeal all discriminatory laws, including any that sanction
The Gulf country, Khalife said, must "enact laws that
criminalise such behaviour, and provide appropriate services
The UAE`s ruling "violates the right of the country`s
women and children to liberty, security, and equality in the
family, and potentially their right to life," the statement
"These provisions are blatantly demeaning to women and
pose serious risks to their well-being."
In the ruling, reported on Monday by The National
newspaper, Chief Justice Falah al-Hajeri wrote: "Although the
(law) permits the husband to use his right (to discipline), he
has to abide by the limits of this right."