UAE Sentences Bloggers
In the absence of a free Middle Eastern media, websites often serve as vitally important alternate news sources and as forums for the free expression of opinion denied in all other social venues. Often the offending articles are about the reality within the state, such as levels of corruption, poverty or torture. The goal of state censorship is to hide the truth about the state from its own people. What the West understands is a tertiary concern. Lately we are seeing a rash of arrests and trials against the electronic media. Most usually the charge is insulting the head of state, damaging a state's reputation or some otherwise Orwellian charge of damaging society by speaking the truth or expressing an opinion. Today its the UAE:
HRINFO expressed today its deep worries regarding the new sentence issued by Ras Kheima court against Majan.net writer Khalid El-Asly and Majan.net boss Muhammed Shouhi who received 5 months in prison. This is the second case against Majan.net; another two cases are expected to make it to court. The second case against Majan.net saw a new development as the verdict against El-Asly and Shouhi was based on the criminal law on grounds of defamation in addition to the testimony of Ras Kheima electronic government's head who alleged that El-Asly is the same writer who calls himself" Hair" . The testimony wasn't based on substantiated grounds. The court didn't take into account the claims made by Asly and Shouhi's defense who said that the testimony is not impartial as the head of Ras Kheima electronic government kept on attacking Majan.net staff on newspapers before giving his testimony which is lacking technical evidence.