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APRIL: The Arrest of Five UAE Bloggers

Though far more muted, the Arab Spring inspired unrest took shape in the UAE in the form of the arrest of five bloggers who were being tried on account of for insulting leaders of the UAE. The five were convicted, by pardoned shortly after.

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December 21, 2011 3:43 by



The UAE was not immune to the political unrest rocking the Arab World this year. Though far more muted, the unrest in the UAE took shape in the form of the arrest of five bloggers who were being tried on account of for insulting leaders of the UAE.

The bloggers were arrested in April leading to a massive online campaign for and against the activists.

April 12, 2011

While police stay mum about the arrest of the three activists, full on online campaigns are launched for and against activist Mansoor

ONLINE CAMPAIGNS

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates headed by ruling families, does not allow direct elections or political parties. It is a U.S. ally which shares Washington’s concerns about rising Iranian influence in the region.

Online activists have attacked Mansoor. On Facebook, a page called “Ahmed Mansoor, a traitor without a nation,” posts comments and video clips denouncing him.

“The time has come for people like him to go down in history defeated with their heads bowed,” one post read.

Rival activists and students have posted a picture of Mansoor, in a white robe and headdress, with the words “Freedom for Ahmed Mansoor” emblazoned in red on the bottom.

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Shortly after there were reports of mistreatment of the activitists in prison:

UAE political activists mistreated in prison, alleges lawyer

October 2, 2011

Mohammed al-Roken, a lawyer for two of the five political activists and bloggers who were arrested in the UAE in April claims foul play

Reuters

Five political activists being tried in the United Arab Emirates on charges of insulting the country’s leaders refused to attend a court hearing on Sunday, protesting against alleged mistreatment, a defence attorney said.

The hearing was made public for the media and representatives of rights groups for the first time since the trial began in June.

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But the story had a not so unhappy ending:

UAE pardons activists sentences for insulting leaders

November 28, 2011

The UAE president has pardoned five activists on Monday (Nov 28) who were convicted a day earlier for insulting leaders of the UAE and who had been on hunger strike for two weeks, a relative of one of the five said, according to a Reuters report.

Reuters

The UAE president has pardoned five activists on Monday (Nov 28) who were convicted a day earlier for insulting leaders of the UAE and who had been on hunger strike for two weeks, a relative of one of the five said, according to a Reuters report.

The five were arrested in April for urging public protest and disrupting public order, and had been on trial since June. Their sentences were up to three years in prison.

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