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U.A.E. – Freedom Of The Press? Not For The London Times

The London Times has apparently gotten themselves into trouble with the United Arab Emirates due to heavy coverage of Dubai’s debt problems. This heavy focus on Dubai’s financial problems has led officials from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the U.A.E., to condemn their coverage as “offensive.”

Earlier this month in Dubai where an investment conference was held, Dubai’s Sheik Mohammed made an appearance and a rather interesting statement. He told reporters that they should “shut up” and stop issuing negative press on Dubai and its relations with the U.A.E. and Abu Dhabi.

In the U.A.E., it would seem that Dubai’s debt problem (now in excess of $80 billion) does not need to be on display for the masses, as these newspapers were pulled from stands with prejudice. This type of information being withheld can lead to destabilization of the economy, which in turn can lead to destabilization of the country. A destabilized country can easily lead to a rise in fundamentalism and possible terrorist factions as shown by this article. While governments, much like our own, have legitimate interests in withholding some information from the media, like in relation to national security (military secrets for one). The opposite spectrum of keeping valuable financial information that that will lead to a countries destabilization is also in a country’s sights as a security concern. Specifically the U.S.’s security concerns, when a country like Dubai walks the line of succumbing to economic disruption, due to lack of information, the doors are opened for new dangers and threats that would not bode well for the U.S. and its’ security concerns.

Read more at the WSJ.


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