Monday, May 2, 2011

Emirates adds to the repression

Although it may seem that spring has arrived Arab Emirates, the confederation of autocratic states haven of luxury and the Middle East petrodollars, the reality is substantially different: rather, dictators Emiratis are taking preventive measures, including arrest bloggers, activists and dissidents, to prevent any protests organized on behalf of democratic reform question them.

On Monday, the respected NGO Human Rights Watch called for the government of UAE for the immediate release of the five most prominent activists, including prominent blogger and human rights defender Ahmed Mansur, arrested on April 8 and remanded in custody , as Attorney General Salim Saed Kubaish in the prison of Abu Dubai Al Wathba.

Like him, the other four detainees are accused of incitement, violation of the law and commit acts that threaten national security, public order challenge, oppose the system of government and insulting the president, vice president and the Crown Prince Abu Dhabi. In fact, the offense is to launch an online petition signed by hundreds of intellectuals and activists which called for direct election of Members of Parliament, sent to the authorities last March to demand democratic reforms in a confederation where 40 Members Legislative Council are elected by the elite of the country and half of them directly by the seven princes who rule the emirates.

HRW accused by the mouth of its manager in the Middle East, Sarah Leah Whitson, to punish the criticisms Emirates investigating peaceful activists 'opposition to the Government' () This shows how far away United to become a country respectful of human rights. All those detained for reporting abuse should be immediately arrested.

Mansur Ahmed, a member of the advisory board of HRW's Middle East was one of the promoters of the initiative. Appeared on television, wrote in the media and defended the manifesto on his blog until the day he was arrested. Ten uniformed officers, said his wife Nadia, searched his house for three hours without a warrant.

They took two laptops. They had been threatened and was waiting for the police. The truth is that he could count on his blog at what time you went looking. The authorities initially accused him of having alcohol at home. He offered a very different version in his blog online. Mansur was also involved in the introduction, in January, a report on abuses against foreign workers in the UAE, where there are cases of human trafficking, produced by HRW that caused outrage among the authorities.

Two days after his arrest, security forces stopped Naser bin Ghaith, an economics professor at the Sorbonne University-Abu Dhabi branch of the French institution consgrada, who had accused the authorities of not sufficiently committed to reform and try to buy the docility of its citizens with money.

Three other known cyber, Fahad Salim Dalke, Hassan Ali Al Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, followed the same fate. But it was not the first. As HRW report, the arrests are part of a context of repression that has already started when the Ministry of Social Affairs dissolved the leadership of the Association of Judges, an independently elected institution, having signed with three NGO's request for reform democratic.

Its 11 members have been replaced by persons designated by the Government.

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