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Bill Clinton Praises UAE As “Face of Social Justice for Poor People Around the World”

Clinton offered praise for the perennial human rights abuser’s foreign aid program. Spoiler alert: they’re a Clinton Foundation donor.

Former President Bill Clinton praised the United Arab Emirates, a human rights-abusing Clinton Foundation donor, as the “face of social justice for poor people around the world” at the 2017 InterAction Forum in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

“I applaud the countries that have maintained their commitments,” Clinton said to the crowd, before singling out the UAE.

“I want to recognize especially Ambassador [Yousef] Al Otaiba from the UAE,” he said. “They are now the number-one ranked country in the world in percentage of their GDP that goes to assistance.”

Clinton then praised the ambassador, and by extension, the UAE, as the “benign face of social justice for poor people around the world.”

“You wear [the face] well,” he then said to Al Otaiba.

The UAE’s human rights record tells a different story though. According to Human Rights Watch, the Emirati government has “forcibly disappeared” activists and arrested journalists critical of the government. “Arbitrary detention and imprisonment” are common, and the status of women’s rights is abysmal.

Despite the UAE’s supposed reforms, exploitation, and abuse of migrant workers run rampant in the Gulf nation.

According to a recent HRW report:

UAE laws and policies leave migrant domestic workers exposed to abuse and exploitation. The labor law explicitly excludes domestic workers from its protections, and their employment is instead governed by a standard contract that provides far weaker rights than the labor law.

The UAE has pushed its domestic workers into de facto slavery, but this did not stop Clinton from praising the nation as a champion for “social justice.”

Perhaps Clinton’s affinity to the UAE comes from their donations to the Clinton Foundation. The Foundation’s donor page reports that the UAE has donated between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 to the Clintons’ private project.

The Clintons faced criticism during the 2016 election for seemingly doing favors for donors to the Clinton Foundation.