UAE holds activist for criticising rulers: Blogger

Last Updated: Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 21:27

Dubai: United Arab Emirates authorities on
Sunday briefly detained a political activist who criticised
one of the Gulf country`s rulers on his Twitter account, a
prominent Emirati blogger said.

Ahmed Mansour told anews agency on the phone that
security agents detained the activist, Mohammed Abdel-Razzaq
al-Siddiq, before dawn Sunday. He was taken from his home in
the emirate of Sharjah and released on bail later Sunday,
Mansour said.

The arrest was the latest move by the UAE to crack down
on political dissent in the oil-rich union of seven
city-states. Each emirate is ruled by a hereditary sheik.

The US-allied UAE has not been hit by Arab Spring unrest
that has spread across the Middle East during the past year,
including in neighboring Bahrain. UAE authorities have moved
aggressively against any signs of dissent that could pose a
challenge to the tight political controls in country.

Political activity is severely restricted in the Gulf
federation. There are no official opposition groups in the
country, and political parties are banned.

UAE officials could not be reached for comment about
al-Siddiq`s arrest and release Sunday.

In the past few weeks, three other people have been
detained for postings on social media websites. All are free
on bail, including an online activist who faces charges in the
state security court after commenting on uprisings against
autocratic Arab rulers in his Twitter posts.

Al-Siddiq is an Islamic scholar who was stripped of his
citizenship along with six others last year after authorities
accused them of links to an Islamic group.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 21:27

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