United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Sophisticated online surveillance

The United Arab Emirates regularly participate in the 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 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 under the 1980 law on printed matter and publications.

in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index



119 in 2016

Global score


36.73 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2017
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2017
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2017
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