Emirati faces charges after tweeting ‘incitement’

March 12, 2012 2:21 pm


Al-Dhafairi is also accused of "using religion to incite"/AFP-File
DUBAI, Mar 12 – A UAE prosecutor has referred to a security court an Emirati man arrested in Dubai last week on charges of “incitement” and attempts to undermine national security, the WAM news agency reported on Monday.

Saleh al-Dhafairi was arrested in Dubai on March 6 and was accused by the government of “incitement through writing or verbally spreading ideas that damage national unity or social peace,” after comments he posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Dubai’s general prosecutor decided to refer the case to the federal security court because Dhafairi’s action “endangered the interests… and security” of the United Arab Emirates, the official WAM news agency said.

Al-Dhafairi is also accused of “using religion to… incite” action against the state, the agency added.

The security court, also known as the Federal High Court, which rules on cases which involve state security issues, will decide if Al-Dhafairi should stand trial.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates led by oil-rich Abu Dhabi, has not seen any popular protests calling for reform like those that have swept other Arab countries, including Gulf states Bahrain and Oman.

But in November, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan pardoned five Emirati Internet activists, jailed for up to three years on charges including insulting the Gulf state’s leaders.


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