The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven autocratic
sheikhdoms established in 1971. None has any democratically elected
institutions and citizens do not have the right to change their government
or to form political parties. The need for structural reforms has been
willfully neglected by the rulers, to further strengthen their position.
All magazines, papers, books including web contents are censored before it
reaches the public. Foreign publications routinely are subjected to
censorship before distribution. Published material is subject to Federal
Law 15 of 1988, which stipulates that all publications, whether books or
periodicals, should be licensed by the Ministry of Information.
journalists taking part in a major media conference here accused
Arab governments of controlling the media, the region's top
scribes stated "The Arab media have remained under the control of
their governments in order to serve their political, economic -
development and other goals".
The issue of Internet Censorship
The United Arab Emirates is the regional leader in advocating
censorship of the Web through the use of Proxy Filtering
System. The filtering software aimed to block a wide range of
online publications considered pornographic, violent, critical
of the Government or the ruling families or supportive of
certain Israeli positions or as content deemed “disturbing or
Censorship is often seen as a human rights violation,
especially when it is combined with a repressive, governing
Read more at:
Internet Filtering in the UAE
The country's three English-language newspapers are privately owned, as
are three out of its six Arabic-language newspapers; however, privately
owned newspapers receive government subsidies and encourage
An informed citizenry is one of the greatest forces for global peace and
stability, said Josette Shiner, under secretary of US state. Loss of
freedom, brings in its wake, frustration, anger, malice and the sense of
being deprived of something which man cherishes.
A United Nations Development Programme document titled,
Arab Human Development
Report, shows that the level of development lags behind, despite all
the oil wealth, and that these societies are generally poor in abilities
and possibilities. It further pinpoints the barrier to a better Arab
performance, that, it is not lack of resources, but the tragic shortage of
two essentials, namely, freedom and knowledge.
Addressing the 60th U.N. General Assembly on September 14, 2005, President
Bush underscored the importance of free speech to democracy. He said, "The
survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of
liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the
expansion of freedom in all the world."