UAE Foreign Minister Says No One “Above the Law” After Arrests

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan warned that no one “is above the law,” when asked about the recent arrests of several pro-democracy activists.

“The prosecution in the U.A.E. has sent subpoenas to a number of people,” Sheikh Abdullah said in Abu Dhabi today. ‘This is fully in procedure with laws and rules of U.A.E. We have full trust in our judiciary and I do not believe that any person is above the law.” He didn’t elaborate on the charges or say how many people have been arrested.

At least four pro-democracy activists have been arrested this month, according to lawyer Mohamed al-Mansouri. The activists include Nasser bin Ghaith, an economics professor at the Abu Dhabi branch of France’s Sorbonne University and Abdullah bin Qious Al-Shehhi, a former army officer, al-Mansouri said.

The U.A.E. has been spared in the wave of protests taking place across the Arab world this year. The government said March 2 that it would allocate 5.7 billion dirhams ($1.6 billion) to fund water and infrastructure projects in the country’s northern emirates, which have traditionally lagged behind the rapid development of others such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vivian Salama in Abu Dhabi at vsalama@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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