Emirati citizens have criticised their country’s security authorities’ repression of freedom of expression, the most recent of which is the government’s decision to block dozens of websites.
The citizens said that recently the UAE came at the top of a list of Arab states that seek to gag their citizens, saying that although people do not exercise absolute freedom, through the internet, they can express their opinion and their suffering as well as discover the size of the deliberate marginalisation practices which the ruling regimes partake in against them. The Emirati regime prosecutes cyber activists and seeks to silence people in the real world and even in the virtual world.
Observers said the UAE is considered one of the most prolific Arab states which strives to block everything that could have a negative impact on its citizens, noting that the Telecommunications Authority uses proxy servers to block websites claiming they violate Islamic law.
A recent survey by a Gulf newspaper revealed that 59.5 per cent of the participants do not support blocking websites and insist that they can exercise self-censorship, while 40.5 per cent of them supported the decision to preserve the society’s customs and traditions.