HRW slams UAE court ruling on men beating wives
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 00:14
  
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 circumstances."

"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 domestic violence."

The Gulf country, Khalife said, must "enact laws that criminalise such behaviour, and provide appropriate services to victims."

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 said.

"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."

PTI


First Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 00:14


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