Emirates Leaks

UAE courts try a lady for criticizing government bad transactions

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As part of its series of violations of freedom of expression, the judiciary in the United Arab Emirates prosecuted a woman, whose identity or nationality has not been revealed, for criticizing government bad transactions.

A criminal court in the emirate of Fujairah held a special hearing to start the trial of a woman, claiming that she published a video that insults a government department and reduces the prestige of the state, according to official media.

At the hearing, the court charged her of offending the security and prestige of the State, as well as insulting and slandering a staff member of a government facility.

The woman went to a government facility to finish her employee’s treatment, but the official took too much time. She filmed a video criticizing officials in the department and criticized the lack of customer service.

The woman published the video on Snapchat account where she is followed by members of her family and friends.

At a previous hearing, the court sentenced the defendant to a fine of 500,000 dirhams.

Observers believe that strengthening the role of the courts in such cases imposes on the UAE society the silence applied to any failure in any of the government departments. Criticism is a crime, and anyone calls for reform or criticizes the shortcomings of some government agencies will be charged with treason, according to activists.

International human rights organizations are critical of the judicial system in the UAE and its abuses of citizens and those who come to the country if they practiced freedom of opinion and expression or public criticism.

The judicial system in the UAE suffers from serious gaps makes is used by that regime as a tool of systematic repression.

The UAE judicial system faces widespread skepticism from experts about its ability to counter the progress of the state and its independence from the state’s de facto state security apparatus.