As attempts at change sweep the Arab world, some more successful than others, there hasn't been unrest in the UAE. Not exactly. A protest here, a ripple there. A recent petition from heavy-hitters appealing for direct elections, you know, that sort of thing. The bottom line is, as I tell my family and friends, most of us are not from here and face boarding a one-way flight home for such activity. If we are lucky.
But many people are from here, and a group of them are not complacent. Like Ahmed Mansour. The Emirati human rights activist and blogger, who was arrested Friday afternoon in Dubai for "criminal activity".
After a middle-of-the-night visit from the cops, he warned this might happen. Be safe brave one.
UPDATE: And, another one, apparently. And a third. Sheesh.
UPDATE: Yes, I took this down last night. Now I am putting it back up.
Contrary to what is being said in most media outlets, the three bloggers were not arrested simply for airing their views; plenty of blogs exist calling for a change to be inacted in the system.
Ahmed Mansour and the others were arrested for the profanity-laced language that was used when describing the rulers of the UAE. I am sorry, but in a country where giving the middle finger while driving will get you jailed (even if you are giving it to some homeless bum), it is no surprise that the same theory applies when you speak with such language against people, regardless of who they are.
It is one thing to argue for democratic change. It is entirely another to insult someone. If they cannot use normal adult language, perhaps they should not be calling for a change in the system.
One final note: who in their right mind would want to change the system to something democratic? Democracy does not work everywhere; it works in some places, it doesnt in others. And the views of three bloggers certainly do not reflect the opinions of the remaining 1 million citizens (plus countless more expats)
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