UAE starts secret trial of pro-democracy bloggers, as crowd of loyal subjects stands outside condemning them (2 items)

The United Arab Emirates is a very scary place for anyone who dares to talk about democracy; and yet the US media never mentions it. Even Bahrain gets more “ink” (as we used to say) than Abu Dhabi and its satellites.

Note how AP (below) softens the picture.


Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News -- Emiratis assemble outside the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi to condemn activists facing trial on charges of endangering the country's security.
Trial of Emirati bloggers starts in Abu Dhabi
In a closed-door trial, Emirati bloggers facing jail on charges of endangering UAE security plead not guilty

Abu Dhabi: The trial of a group of Emirati bloggers, facing prison terms on charges of endangering the UAE’s security and undermining the public order, started in Abu Dhabi behind closed doors.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges, said their lawyer, Abdul Hamid Al Kumaiti.

He added the defence also asked the court presided over by Chief Justice Shihab Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, to stop publishing reports about the trial to ensure no pressure is exercised on the court.

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Trial opens for pro-reform activists in Emirates
(AP) – 14 hours ago

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Court officials say five activists have gone on trial on security-related charges as part of a crackdown on political dissent in the United Arab Emirates.

The closed-door proceedings Tuesday in Abu Dhabi’s Federal Supreme Court comes after international watchdog groups, including human rights groups, criticized the arrests.

The UAE has not faced street protests inspired by the Arab uprisings, but authorities have moved aggressively to silence pro-reform advocates. Among the five arrested are a prominent blogger and a frequent lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris’ Sorbonne university.

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