UAE / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in UAE since 1992

  
A protester wears a mask depicting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman with painted hands next to people holding posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during the demonstration outside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 25, 2018. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

Saudi control of Arab media, lamented by Khashoggi, shapes coverage of his death

It is a cruel irony that Jamal Khashoggi’s last unpublished column for The Washington Post was a call for press freedom in the Arab world. His homeland, Saudi Arabia, has spent the last three decades and hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure that never happens.

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A Snap banner covers the facade of the New York Stock Exchange in March 2017. The social media company's transparency report shows it received and complied with three government takedown requests for the Al-Jazeera Discover channel. (AFP/Bryan R. Smith)

Undiscoverable: How Al-Jazeera’s Snapchat channel disappeared from three Gulf nations

Search for “Al-Jazeera” on Snapchat, and the first result that comes up is a ubiquitous publisher channel in the app’s famed vertical layout. That is, unless you are in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), or Bahrain. Users in these counties are instead offered a list of stores and restaurants that bear a similar…

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A worker cleans a EU flag in Berlin on May 19, 2017. The EU parliament is due to vote on October 12 on a proposed review mechanism of surveillance tool exports. (AFP/John MacDougall)

Press at risk as EU-based companies export surveillance software to hostile regimes

In August, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told the daily newspaper Information that the government had authorized sales of online surveillance software to several Middle Eastern countries. While acknowledging the potential for human rights violations that could result from the use of these tools, the minister said that Denmark has an interest in the fight…

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The Qatar Airways office in Doha. Gulf countries imposed a ban on Qatari flights and many have announced penalties for those reporting critically on recent tensions with the country. (AFP/STR)

Amid Gulf tensions, press is used as a political pawn

Today Bahrain became the latest Gulf nation to put pressure on news outlets amid political tension, when its Interior Ministry announced that anyone publishing support or sympathy for Qatar faces up to five years in prison. The announcement came the day after the United Arab Emirates used the threat of prison to demarcate how journalists…

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Sri Lankan journalist in UAE still at risk of deportation

Lohini Rathimohan, a former television journalist from Sri Lanka, faces an unclear future. The 28-year-old is among 15 Tamil refugees still sheltered in a single room of an aluminum factory at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port whose official statuses remain uncertain.

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Tamil journalist will not be forced back to Sri Lanka

A short note to follow up on an alert we posted Wednesday on the threatened deportation of Lohini Rathimohan  (also spelled Lokini), a former television journalist and one of 19 Tamil refugees facing deportation from the United Arab Emirates. Earlier reports said the refugees, who reached Dubai illegally, could be deported this week.

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A civil defense officer carries the body of a young victim a mall fire during a funeral in Doha on May 29, 2012. Hearings to determine criminal responsibility for the fire are underway. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

In UAE and Qatar, key trials go unreported as media barred

In the past month, officials in both the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have prevented journalists from reporting on important court proceedings. But it is not too late to allow the press to cover these crucial cases.

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Beyond the Amina hoax: Real cases in the Middle East

A Gay Girl in Damascus was a personal blog, said to be written by a young woman named Amina Arraf, that appeared to give an everyday record of being a lesbian in modern-day Syria. Following the events of the Arab Spring, as the political situation in Syria grew less stable, the blog attracted more readers…

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Use your Blackberry to map global surveillance

The University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab has announced a research project to analyze the global infrastructure of Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry. It’s looking for BlackBerry users from any country to take part–especially those in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, Russia and China. All of these countries have at some point…

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More on RIM

Another piece on RIM by the Guardian, this time reporting that the UAE were after BlackBerry messaging info, because of its use in spreading gossip about high-profile Emiratis. These quotes (translated here) from Dubai’s police chief, Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, where he says the ban was also “meant to control false rumors and defamation of…

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