UAE Activist Asks Police for Help, Gets Arrested Instead

Mohamed al-Mansoori United Arab Emirates

Former head of the UAE Jurists’ Association Dr Mohamed al-Mansoori is among those detained © KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

Another sign that the Arab Uprising of 2011 is entering a new stage: The number of arrests of activists in the United Arab Emirates is adding up.

After Abu Dhabi’s Public Prosecutor announced on July 15 that a group of people would be investigated for plotting “crimes against state security,” “opposing the UAE constitution and ruling system,” and having ties to “foreign organizations and agendas,” about 35 men have been detained.  That’s eight more since Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action last week.

The whereabouts of all 35 are unknown, and they are thought to be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.


Saudi Arabia Silencing Dissent in the Name of 'Security'

Ahmad AbbadThere’s one thing more concerning than a government with a history of using security issues to justify human rights abuses passing a new anti-terrorism measure. What would be more scary is if that government passed new counter-terrorism legislation and then kept the details of the new law from the public.

That’s the situation in Saudi Arabia, where what we know of a draft anti-terrorism law comes only from a document leaked to Amnesty International. Under the draft law, the definition of terrorist crimes is so broad that legitimate dissent would, in effect, be criminalized. Authorities would be allowed to prosecute peaceful dissent with harsh penalties such as “terrorist crime.”