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
ADMC filed a complaint in June this year against the website for publishing an article titled “Abu Dhabi TV: a UAE television by name only,” written by Inas al-Bourini, the owner of the website on May 4. The suit filed against Bourini and his editor, Ahmed Mohamed bin Gharib, claimed that the article was defamatory, insulting and humiliating. The article said that there was “administrative corruption” and “embezzlement” within the company; it also criticized the station’s programs.
The defendants filed an appeal against the verdict, which was first heard in an Abu Dhabi court on October 12.
“Inas Al- Bourini and Ahmed Mohamed bin Gharib were the victims of false allegations because they wrote about corruption,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the appeal judge to reconsider the lower court’s verdict and to allow the accused to defend their case properly.”
Interestingly, the ADMC- Hetta.com case barely received any coverage in the English media in the country.
Despite its growing importance in the world economy, the UAE is still largely perceived as a closed society: around 73 percent of the respondents to a Kipp’s poll conducted in April 2009 said that there is no freedom of speech in the country.
Do you agree that the media is muted here?