Press freedoms in the UAE took a serious hit in 2016
For journalists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 2016 was a grim one with press freedoms curtailed and financial woes from low oil prices biting the Middle East's wealthiest nation.
Press freedoms in the UAE took a serious hit in 2016, while financial woes from low prices piled on further pressure for media outlets in the Middle East's wealthiest nations.
The UAE saw its already low press freedom index rankings slip further in 2016, in a report put together by media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RWB).
Journalists in the UAE continued to work in a stifling environment of censorship, where authorities often intervene directly or indirectly in their work.
Beyond the pristine skyscrapers of Dubai, the UAE, which ranks at 119 in the global press freedom index, has on several occasions been accused of repressing its critics using its cybercrimes law.
The Gulf state's stringent law has been slapped on social media activists and others who support and defend freedom of expression online. It has highlighted a shrinking space for dissent in the Gulf state, year after year. Possibly the most iconic of its black marks is the case of the "UAE 94", which left dozens of government critics, prominent academics and human rights defenders, among others behind bars.
While the emirates continues to promote a well-kept image, the country has slapped stern punishments on those who risk tarnishing the reputation of the state.