UAE Court Jails Activists for Using Web to Call for Protests

Posted November 27th, 2011 at 4:05 am (UTC-5)
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A court in the United Arab Emirates has sentenced five pro-democracy activists to prison terms of two to three years for using the Internet to call for anti-government demonstrations.

The court in Abu Dhabi jailed the activists Sunday after convicting them of insulting the Gulf state's leaders. The most prominent defendant, blogger Ahmed Mansoor, received a three-year sentence, while the other four were jailed for two years. Authorities arrested the activists in April for using a website to criticize the government and call for protests.

Rights groups have criticized the UAE's prosecution of the activists as unfair and called for them to be released. Their trial coincided with pro-democracy uprisings against other autocratic governments in the region this year.