American-Allied Dictatorship Shuts Down Pro-Democracy U.S. Group
Friday, April 06, 2012
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, leader of the UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week forced the closure of two non-governmental organizations that promote democracy, mirroring the actions last year of the military-led government in Egypt against the same NGOs.
The first NGO shut down was the U.S.-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI), followed by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, based in Germany. The UAE did not provide any explanation for the closings.
Both pro-democracy groups had their offices raided and closed in Egypt during 2011. The NDI was created in 1983 and funded through the National Endowment for Democracy.
An official with NDI said the move was disappointing and “arbitrary.” It was pointed out that the NGO had no programs at this time in the UAE, so the closure would have “no serious ramifications for our work.”
On Thursday, the UAE government detained overnight two NDI employees, an American, Patricia David, and a Serb, Slobodan Milic.
On Christmas Day the Obama administration approved $3.5 billion in weapons sales to the UAE royal government, with almost $2 billion going to Lockheed Martin for two Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries, and. $582.5 million going to Raytheon for radar and services.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Emirates Detain Pair From U.S.-Backed Group (by Steven Lee Myers, New York Times)
UAE Detains Foreign NGO Workers (by Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy)
United Arab Emirates Shutters U.S.-Backed Group (by Steven Lee Myers, New York Times)
UAE Shuts Down Two Foreign Ngos (by Mohammed Jamjoom and Frederik Pleitgen, CNN)
Egyptian Government Charges 19 U.S. NGO Workers (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
U.S. Defense Firms Make Billions from UAE and Bahrain Dictatorships (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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