The UAE’s ranking in the world press freedom index has fallen by more than 15 places since 2008. Why?
October 21, 2009 1:38 by Aarti Nagraj
However, the National Media Council (NMC), which is responsible for the draft media law dismissed the report.
“[The NMC] would like to note its view that some of the remarks made in the HRW report show either a real lack of understanding of the situation in the Emirates or an attempt to promote concepts and/or procedures that are not compatible with the laws of the UAE and its value system [...] It is the view of the NMC, therefore, that such a preamble as is suggested by Human Rights Watch would be superfluous and unnecessary. The National Media Council continues to take the view that the new draft law represents a significant step forward in terms of press freedom in the UAE.”
But according to Reporters Without Borders, press freedom in the country is still being curbed. Earlier this month, the organization condemned Abu Dhabi courts for fining the heads of the news website Hetta.com AED20,000 in a defamation suit filed by the government-owned Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC).