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.