Many international media reported on the repressive behavior of the UAE regime by threatening foreign journalists during the coverage of the Expo 2020 Dubai, which began on October 1.
According to the website, ” Inside Arabia “The UAE government has doubled down on its criminal behavior by harassing and threatening foreign journalists present in Dubai to cover Expo 2020.”
Emirati officials threatened foreign journalists
According to ABC News, Emirati officials have repeatedly tried to force foreign journalists to sign forms requiring them to be referred to a criminal trial if instructions are not followed.
And since the exhibition hosts dozens of countries that present innovative projects in the fields of technology, arts and culture. The exhibition is expected to receive millions of tourists from all over the world over the next six months, making it the largest event since the outbreak of the pandemic nearly two years ago.
The UAE hopes to invest the $7 billion it spent to host the event, which takes place once every 5 years. However, it seems that this will not be easy given the many indicators.
The UAE has expected a huge influx of Chinese tourists as a reward for Abu Dhabi’s growing ties with Beijing. But the more stringent “Corona” restrictions in China (imposed on citizens returning from travel) make this possibility slim.
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“The UAE aims to receive 25 million visitors, but this goal seems very difficult under the current circumstances,” said Robert Mogilnicki, a researcher at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.
Expo District 2020
The second blow came from the European Parliament’s decision to boycott “Expo 2020 Dubai” and invite international companies sponsoring this global event. To withdraw due to concerns about the UAE’s appalling human rights record, particularly towards activists, journalists, academics and lawyers.
“The European Parliament has taken a strong stand today against the brutal dictators in Dubai,” said Sanjeev Beary, executive director of Freedom Forward, which is leading the boycott effort. The Emirati regime has participated in a series of human rights violations, including widespread abuses and war crimes in Yemen, and the Dubai Expo is organizing a member of the ruling family who was himself accused of rape.
The European Parliament called for the speedy release of human rights activists who were imprisoned for criticizing the UAE government. Many of them have been in prison for about 10 years.
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Not only did these pleas fall on deaf ears, but the Emirati government doubled down on its criminal behavior through harassment. And the threat of foreign journalists in Dubai to cover “Expo 2020”.
The UAE government has doubled down on its criminal behavior
In other words, even when the UAE opens its doors to tourists from all over the world. It also threatens to close the prison door to those who exercise freedom of expression.
It is not surprising, then, that the UAE ranks 131 out of 180 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Index. This designation was accompanied by a note saying that “criticisms of journalists or bloggers often turn into charges of defamation. To face long prison sentences in accordance with the laws that have been engineered against those whom the regime considers insulting the state or harming the country’s reputation.”
This indicates the UAE contradiction. While it promotes itself to the international community as open and free, the regime is running the country closed.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, “Mohammed bin Zayed”, wants to market the UAE as a gateway to the Middle East, Europe and Asia. But this hinders his growing paranoia toward his perceived enemies, most of whom have only appeared in his mind since the Arab Spring of 2011. This paranoia is combined with his repressive, authoritarian rule.
Mohamed bin Zayed’s dark vision for the future of the Middle East
The New York Times, in its editorial entitled “Mohammed bin Zayed’s dark vision for the future of the Middle East,” stated that “Bin Zayed hardly distinguishes between Islamic groups. He insists that they all share the same goal; It is the pursuit of a caliph and the replacement of the constitution with the Qur’an.”
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The editorial added: “He appears to believe that the only options in the Middle East are more repressive regimes or else disaster will occur. It is a Hobbesian prediction. Undoubtedly, it is motivated by self-interest” (in reference to the ideas of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes).
For these reasons, Bin Zayed helped overthrow the democratically elected Egyptian government in a bloody coup in 2013; He defied a United Nations ban. By arming and supporting anti-government forces in Libya; It also invaded and occupied Yemen under the pretext of fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi militia; He joined the war against Al-Shabab in Somalia along with the Saudi-led blockade against Qatar.
This is also why Bin Zayed launched a crackdown on anyone who criticizes him or the UAE state, including local and foreign journalists. Those working on the coverage of Expo 2020 Dubai.
International media organizations colluding with the UAE
It is worrying that there are international media organizations complicit in supporting the threats of the UAE. Freedom Forward accused CNN of playing a role in supporting the PR agenda of the dictatorship because of its refusal to reveal whether the UAE government was. Pay them to cover the show.
The Quincy Institute-owned Responsible Statecraft website said: “The ambiguity around CNN’s role in covering the show. With its track record of producing promotional content for the UAE, it raises ethical and legal questions.”
Seeing such supportive content for Dubai shows why the UAE continues to present itself to the world as a progressive and open country. While repressing its citizens and residents under strict laws and restrictions.
And so on; The “Expo Dubai 2020” is another example that shows the Emirati contradiction, but it seems that the propaganda carried out by Abu Dhabi does not deceive everyone.