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Inside the Middle East
May 3, 2011
Posted: 1312 GMT

By Jenifer Fenton

The United Arab Emirates dissolved the elected board of directors of the Teachers’ Association on Monday, according to activist Mohammed al-Mansoori. The 11 members of the board were replaced by five state appointees.

The decree signed by Social Affairs Minister Mariam Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi said the Teachers’ Association violated the UAE’s Law on Associations, which bans nongovernmental organizations from interfering "in politics or in matters that impair State security and its ruling regime," according to Human Rights Watch.

Last month, the UAE dissolved the elected board of directors of the Jurist Association, also replacing the board with state appointees. The two groups signed a petition to President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the members of the Supreme Council of the seven Emirates on March 9 asking for direct elections. The petition also asked that the Federal National Council be granted legislative powers. The body is only an advisory one.

In April, Emirati authorities arrested a prominent human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor and four others on accusations that included opposing the government. The five were "held in preventative custody" on accusations that they committed crimes that include undermining the public order, opposing the government system and insulting the president, vice president and crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the state-run WAM news agency reported.

Mansoor is a "leading human rights activist who had publicly called for political freedoms and an elected parliament," Human Rights Watch said. Mansoor, who signed the petition to the UAE president, is also a member of Human Rights Watch's Middle East advisory committee

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Filed under: UAE


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Rags   May 3rd, 2011 3:20 pm ET

Why even bother for democracy and freedom of speech in any Middle Eastern Countries? It's a loosing battle.

John A   May 4th, 2011 12:10 pm ET

Rags,
More to the point, why does the west feel a need to interfere with other countries internal issues and who made the west the almighty judge of standards?

miriam   May 4th, 2011 2:17 pm ET

What next, the Journalists Association?

Then what will CNN do with its news hub?

Perhaps they are protected by the government so they're safe.

miriam   May 9th, 2011 10:43 am ET

Does CNN have a problem with my comment?

Or is it the UAE media law?

Georgia Hull   May 10th, 2011 3:16 pm ET

Is this action related to girls attending school?

redcocktail   May 12th, 2011 9:22 am ET

Nobody envisaged this fire of change burning through the middle east. I hope this fire engolfs the rest of Africa too.

maryam   May 16th, 2011 10:59 am ET

First the doctors and nurses in bahrain, now the jurists and teachers in UAE. It sounds like the gulf states are the new Stalinist Soviet union.

Concerns over vision of peace.   May 17th, 2011 10:21 am ET

wow. sounds extreme.

Concerns over vision of peace.   May 17th, 2011 10:22 am ET

Is UAE trying to run US also?


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Welcome to the Inside the Middle East blog where CNN's journalists post news, views and video from across the region. This is also a place where you can start the discussion so please keep your comments coming. We highlight not only current news stories but also anecdotes and issues that don't always make the top of the headlines.

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