Freed UAE Activists Vow to Press Reform Campaign
By BARBARA SURK Associated Press
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates November 29, 2011 (AP)
Seven months in prison for signing an internet petition is not stopping five United Arab Emirates activists from pressing for reforms. Just after they were convicted, pardoned and released, they vowed to campaign for more freedom in the tightly ruled Gulf union.
That the five were arrested at all for taking part in an internet campaign, as opposed to marching, protesting, sitting in at government buildings or more militant activities seen elsewhere in the Mideast, shows how rigid the system of controls is in the UAE, and how determined the country’s rulers are to keep the Arab Spring uprisings out of the oil-rich federation.
The UAE5, as they’re known, want reform, and that could be a recipe for future confrontations.