United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Sophisticated online surveillance

The United Arab Emirates is a master of online surveillance of journalists who often fall victim to its 2012 cyber-crime law. Citizen-journalists and bloggers are usually targeted for criticizing the regime, and are accused of defamation, insulting the state, or posting false information with the aim of damaging the country’s reputation. They risk long jail terms and are liable to be mistreated in prison. The constitution guarantees free speech, but under the 1980 law on printed matter and publications the authorities can censor local or foreign publications if they criticize domestic policies, the economy, the ruling families, religion, or the UAE’s relations with its allies.

in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index



119 in 2017

Global score


39.39 in 2017

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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