UAE Arrests More Bloggers, Activists

September 7, 2012

The number of activists detained in the United Arab Emirates since the month Ramadan began on July 20, 2012, reached 57 by August 30, 2012. The most recent string of arrests by the government included a crackdown on six activists, including blogger Abdulaziz Hareb Al-Muhairi. Al-Muhairi was taken into custody after police entered his house without a warrant.

In addition to Al-Muhairi, UAE authorities arrested Ahmad Awad Al Sharqi, a school administrator, Ali Abdullah Al-Khaja, a businessman, Jamal Awad Al-Sharqi, Abdullah Al-Jabri, and Rashed Khalfan Obaid Ben Sabt. Despite the UAE authorities’ increasing harassment of the prisoners’ family members, the activists’ loved ones turned to Twitter to express their support.

Rodha Hareb, Al-Mahiri’s daughter, tweeted:


Abdul Aziz Hareb Al-Muhairi, my father, this is my first Friday without you. Please God make it the last Friday without my father.


Saeed Al Falasi tweeted:


Oh history, you will list the names of Abdulaziz Hareb Al-Muhairi, Adnan Jalfar, and Juma Al-Falasi and recognize their achievement.


The years 2011 and 2012 have witnessed an increase in human rights violations in the UAE, including the arrests of many peaceful activists and the banning of civil demonstrations. The most recent arrests confirm that the government reacts harshly to those that criticize the regime online.