DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A United Nations report says the United Arab Emirates' judiciary lacks independence, with power often centralized in the hands of prosecutors who are influenced by heads of government.
The U.N. Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, said the judicial system "remains under the de facto control of the executive branch."
Some defendants also appear to have been tortured with electric shocks in detention. She says lawyers are working without detailed understanding of a critical state security law that was enacted but never published.
Knaul wrapped up a nine-day visit to the Emirates Wednesday. She met senior government officials, judges, lawyers and members of civil society, but says she was barred from visiting a prison and certain detainees.