Saturday, June 18, 2005

Press freedom in UAE and access to information :: Khaleej Times

Some items from this long article on press freedom in the UAE.

1. "Restrictions on access, and press laws that bring editorial matters in the realm of criminal law are major handicaps for the media in the country, the journalists were quoted as saying in an analysis report on the media freedom in the UAE, published in Time Out Dubai journal."

2. "It said in one of its recent online survey, over 80 per cent of the respondents had agreed that UAE’s “heavy censorship” was “a real cause for concern”. “Much has improved since 1994, but the UAE still ranks as astonishingly dismal 137th in the world on respected free-speech organisation, Reporters Sans Frontiers’ Press Freedom Index, sitting below such havens of tolerance as Yemen, Sudan and Egypt,” the analysis said."

3. "“The problem (in the UAE) is restriction of access,” a highest-ranking Arab with the Reuters wire services and a former bureau chief here, was quoted as saying. “There was a big accident at the dry docks and they didn’t allow us to go there”, he said, referring to the 2002 flooding. “And, yet, you won’t find a Soviet-style ministry in the UAE,” he said by way of praise in passing. "

4. "The analysis notes that one reason for the fear is the fact that some 90 per cent of the journalists in UAE are non-local, and therefore need a visa to work."



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