Sunday, April 17, 2011

4th UAE activist arrested says Gulf Intellectuals Forum

The UAE government is behaving as if it is insecure. What threat can a few dissidents be? My years of defending the UAE to acquitances, as quite an advanced and free country, and not like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not looking good in hindsight.

Another Emirati rights activist has been arrested, bringing to four the number jailed in the oil-rich Gulf state in the past month, a group of Gulf intellectuals said on Saturday.

Abdullah al-Shehhi was arrested on Friday by security forces, said a statement from the Gulf Discussion Forum, which groups intellectuals in the Gulf Arab states.

His family has not heard from him and does not know where he is detained, it added.
Shehhi, a former member of the UAE armed forces who was originally from the northern emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, was one of 133 signatories of a March 9 petition calling for direct elections and a parliament with legislative powers in the UAE, which has not yet seen protests that have swept other Arab states.

The group has called recent arrests part of "a 'protests phobia' regimes in the region are suffering from."

"The repression by Bahraini authorities of movements calling for freedom and democracy is an example," said the group, adding that Oman, which has also cracked down on pro-reform protests, is another.

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