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Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Human Rights, Justice and Equality

I don't need to tell you how many frothy mouthed loonies scream when the Israeli government is accused of mistreating one of its citizens.

It seems that an Arab Country, well known for its innovative approach to the rights of Individuals has dragged a blogger in for questioning who has dared criticise a government official.

Secret Dubai diary reports:

Behind bars in Bahrain

Worrying events on the Island of Two Seas. where Mahmood Al Yousif, aka the Blogfather, is being sued for libel by a Bahraini government minister. Mahmood criticised Mansour bin Rajab and his department over heavy flooding in December.

Now the minister claims his "feelings are hurt".

While we all shed a thousand tears for the wounded soul of this sensitive government personage, it's a stark reminder of the utter lack of legal freedom of speech in the Gulf, however much newspapers push boundaries on a daily basis. That gem of legal history, the UAE Publications Law, is quite clear on the issue:

Article 70
No criticism shall be made against the Head of State or Rulers of the Emirates

Article 84
It is prohibited to malign a public official, or anybody occupying a post in the public prosecution, or assigned to perform a public job. The writer shall not be held responsible if he proves he did so in good faith.

The divine right of kings: to rule without election; to misrule without question.

BB: Put this in context with what the average Israeli says about their Government ministers!

Picture Credit:
the oblivious shiek by ~kirkfinger