Mansoor al-Jamri, chief editor for Bahrain’s independent Al Wasat newspaper, and his wife Reem Khalifa, an Associated Press reporter, were told by officials at the Dubai International Airport today that they were on a list to deny entry. This incident is the latest in the growing crackdown on journalists and political activists throughout the Gulf region and a sign of increased coordination between governments in the region to stifle dissent.
The reelection of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council was a positive development in a largely disappointing election by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) yesterday, in which seven countries with poor human rights records—Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela—were also elected.
Recent revisions to the United Arab Emirates’ cybercrime law will not only restrict internet freedom but are in violation of citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and should be immediately repealed. These revisions come amidst a broader crackdown on human rights defenders both online and offline in the UAE. Freedom House renews its calls for authorities to cease efforts to silence opposition through extralegal harassment and intimidation.
The brutal crackdown on human rights defenders by security forces in United Arab Emirates (UAE), including the recent flood of arbitrary arrests against advocates of reform, is a troubling sign of the deteriorating climate for freedom of expression.