Home Gulf Bloggers Sentenced to Prison

Gulf Bloggers Sentenced to Prison

Today, the Federal Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates, acting as the “State Security Court,” sentenced five bloggers to prison time. Pioneering Emirati blogger Ahmed Mansour received the harshest sentence, three years. The other four received sentences of two years each.

Mansoor was charged in April with a very popular “crime” among the tyrannies that crack down on difference of opinion: “insult.” In this case, insulting the U.A.E.’s leadership; specifically, the Vice President of Abu Dhabi.

Mansoor is a prominent blogger in the Arab World. He is also a communications engineer and published poet. One of his publishers was the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. Mansoor was the creator and administrator of the Web forum “Hiwar” (which means Dialogue in Arabic), which the court ordered shut down. His fellow defendants were active on the site.

Others sentenced, according to Agence France Presse, were Nasser bin Gaith, a lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of the Sorbonne University, activists Fahid Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq. They were also convicted with insulting the country’s leadership, as well as “calling for a boycott of September’s Federal National Council elections and… anti-government demonstrations.”

The trial took five months, according to Reuters.

International human rights groups condemned the kangaroo court. Among other things, the “crime” of insult is not recognized as such by most countries. The sentences are clearly disproportionate (precedent for the law they were convicted under treated the crimes as misdemeanours) and used by a frightened oligarchy who fear their loss of privilege, despite the country being only lightly touched by the Arab Spring that has swept through the region.

Supporters have taken to Twitter to register their opinions on the “U.A.E. 5,” as they are called, with the hashtag #uae5.

Other sources: TNW

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.