Saturday, March 17, 2012

Arab Spring

In 2011, the Middle East saw a number of pro-democratic uprisings, popularly known as the Arab Spring. The UAE saw comparatively little unrest, but did face one high-profile case in which five pro-democratic activists were arrested on charges of insulting President Khalifa, Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.[21] The trial of the UAE Five attracted international publicity and protest from a number of human rights groups,[22] including Amnesty International, which named the five men prisoners of conscience.[21] The defendants were convicted and given two- to three-year prison sentences on 27 November 2011, but were pardoned without comment by President Khalifa the following day.[23]

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