Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sad

Some are pushed out, others vote with their feet.

The New York Times:
Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a professor of political science at U.A.E. University, said the Iranian issue was likely to have been a “small reason among many” that may have led to the closure of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.

Although the center’s license was refused before the Arab Spring began, other experts point to the move possibly being part of a broader plan by the U.A.E. to quell challenges to its authority.

Recent signs of a clampdown include the ongoing trial in Abu Dhabi of five pro-democracy activists accused of undermining public order by seeking free elections. One of the defendants is Nasser bin Ghaith, a lecturer in international economic law at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris-Sorbonne University.
...
Meanwhile, funding constraints at the Dubai School of Government are believed to have been the main reason behind the resignation of its dean, Tarik Yousef, and a number of other researchers. But a source at the school, who declined to be identified, also said there had been a crackdown on political debate, with some events falling off the organization’s conference agenda.

Mr. Abdulla, the political science professor at U.A.E. University, described the trial of the five activists as an “extreme measure in an extraordinary time,” adding that “as sad as it is, it is not necessarily representative of an emerging repressive trend in the U.A.E.”

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