First Communiqué In UAE Against TRA For Forum Blocking. UAE Government Should Give Reasons and Lift Blocking
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said today that on 14/3/2010 , the lawyer and human rights activist Abdul Hamid Alkamiti filed the first complaint to the prosecutor general in Dubai against the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) for blocking the forum ,Alhewar Alemarati http://www.uaehewar.net/Forums, without giving reasons. Forum site administration said that the blocking was done in an unusual way where the normal blocking message did not display but another was on mentioning a “technical glitch”. This was the TRA plan in order to identify the owners of the forum for control reasons.
This communiqué is the first in the United Arab Emirates and fourth in the Middle East, after Egypt, Syria and Tunisia. This is the first communiqué in UAE submitted to the prosecutor general against TRA for blocking an internet site and fourth in the Middle East.
In Egypt ,Abdul Jalil Sharnoubi, editor the Muslim Brotherhood web site and Ahmed Haridi, editor of Almithaq Alarabi web site filed a lawsuit before the State Council against the Egyptian PM for blocking the web sites in 2004 .
In Syria, on 6/11/2007 ,Nazaha web site owners filed a lawsuit against the minister of communications demanding the suspension of the implementation and annulling the site blocking decision.
In Tunisia and in September 2008, media figure and blogger Ziyad AlHani, filed a lawsuit against the Tunisian Internet Agency in September 2008 to claim compensation for damages due to blocking FaceBook .
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information is upset by the intensive blocking policy in UAE and most contradicting with the government claims of respect to freedom of opinion and expression, encouraging internet use and the remarkable growth in the internet market.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information requests UAE authorities to stop blocking web sites and to abandon the precept ” We are open … to blocking”. Both odds cannot combine together and it is totally unacceptable to claim openness and actually practice blocking. On the other hand , ANHRI urges Dubai prosecutor general to start investigation immediately in the communiqué filed by Abdul Hamid Alkamiti and to unblock “Alhewar Alemarati forum until the investigation has been completed.