Sunday, November 27, 2011

UAE, the supposedly democratic country ...

you know the country that's loved by Bob Rae and the Liberals. UAE, the country that Canada partnered with to wage war against Libya... yeah that one.  If what the Sunni countries are doing to their own people who follow a slightly different vein of islam is called "democratic" .... then I am the Queen of Sheba and you better  bow down low before me.

A state security court in Abu Dhabi has sentenced five activists to prison terms for joining calls for greater political openness in the United Arab Emirates. The trial has been denounced by rights groups and others, who say UAE authorities are using heavy-handed tactics to crush dissent after the Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere in the region.

The court Sunday sentenced one prominent blogger, Ahmed Mansour, to three years in prison. The others received two-year jail terms. There is no appeal. They were arrested in April after signing an online petition demanding political reforms, including a parliament selected by open elections. The five defendants have reportedly been on hunger strike and did not attend the sentencing.

...Mansour and the others are charged with insulting the UAE's rulers and endangering national security. The five activists, including an economics professor who has lectured at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris' Sorbonne University, were arrested in April after they signed an internet petition calling for reform in the oil-rich Gulf federation.

Political activity is severely restricted in the UAE, an alliance of seven semiautonomous states including oil-rich Abu Dhabi and glitzy Dubai, each ruled by a sheik who inherits the post. There are no official opposition groups in the country, and political parties are banned....

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