UAE Steps Up Restrictions on Press Freedom
Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) serves as a regional hub for international media and hosts satellite television networks that broadcast to the Arab world, the domestic media environment is tightly controlled.
Nearly all media outlets serving Emirati audiences are either owned or heavily influenced by the authorities, and individuals who use internet-based platforms to publicize dissenting views or sensitive information increasingly face arbitrary detention or criminal prosecution.
- A prominent Omani blogger was arrested at the UAE border in February 2015 after attempting to enter the country from Oman, and was subsequently charged with defaming the government.
- A number of news websites based abroad were blocked in the final months of the year following their critical coverage of the UAE and its regional allies.
- Multiple convictions, detentions, and enforced disappearances were recorded during 2015 as the government cracked down on expressions of dissent online.
- Jordanian journalist was arrested in UAE on 13 December, 2015 due to a Facebook post.