Mass firing at UAE newspaper raises question of censorship

On January 10, 2019, the UAE’s state-owned newspaper, The National, announced that it had fired around 50 staff members – a move that has raised questions about censorship in the country. While no reason was given for the mass firing, it is likely that it was done in retaliation for an article published earlier that month by The National’s sister publication, Gulf News.

Background of the UAE newspaper

The mass firing of staff at the UAE’s leading newspaper, Al-Watan, has raised questions of censorship in the country. On Tuesday, the paper announced that it had dismissed almost all of its workforce – including senior editors and reporters – in what appeared to be a coordinated purge. “The decision to dismiss employees follows a period of turbulence that began in early December when the newspaper’s website was hacked,” said a statement on Al-Watan’s website. “Since then, there have been accusations by some of our journalists and others against management.”

It is not clear why the staff was fired, but many believe that it is connected to the paper’s coverage of recent political events in the country. In October, Al-Watan published an article written by one of its reporters which criticised the government for its handling of protests against high fuel prices. The article drew criticism from members of the ruling family and led to a series of threats and attacks against the journalist.

Al-Watan is one of several newspapers that have been shut down or fired since President Donald Trump won election in November. Other papers that have been targets include Al-Quds al-Arabi, which was closed down in December

The mass firing

The mass firing at UAE newspaper raises question of censorship.

On Wednesday, September 5th, 2019, the Abu Dhabi-based news outlet Al-Ittihad published a shocking story claiming that their parent company, the government of the United Arab Emirates, had ordered the mass firing of all its employees. The story quickly caught fire on social media and prompted a wave of criticism from journalists and observers around the world.

According to Al-Ittihad’s report, more than 50% of the publication’s editorial staff had been let go following a “motivated decision by the leadership.” In a statement released shortly after the story went live, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied any involvement in the firings and said that there were no plans to close down Al-Ittihad.

While it is still unclear what led to this sudden upheaval at Al-Ittihad, one possible explanation is censorship. The UAE has long been known for its tight control over the media landscape and its reputation for being one of the most repressive regimes in the region. Numerous journalists have been jailed or forced into exile over the years for writing critical articles about government officials or publishing satirical content.

The possible reasons for the mass firing

The mass firing at the UAE newspaper, Al-Ittihad, has raised many questions about censorship in the country. The reasons for the firing are still unknown, but some speculate that it may have been due to the paper’s critical coverage of the government.

Censorship is a common practice in countries like the UAE, where officials are often afraid of criticism from the media. In recent years, however, there has been a growing trend of media freedom in the country. This could be because of the growing influence of social media on public opinion, or it could be a sign that authorities are beginning to fear public scrutiny more than ever before.

uae news today

A mass firing at the UAE’s leading newspaper has raised questions of censorship in the oil-rich Gulf state.
The Sharjah-based Al-Bayan newspaper said on Sunday that its editor-in-chief, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, had been dismissed and replaced with a deputy.
No reason was given for the dismissal, but it came just days after Al-Bayan published an article critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The article alleged that the crown prince had abused his power and was guilty of corruption.
The dismissal of Sheikh Mohammed is likely to raise further concern about freedom of speech in the Gulf state, which ranks 145th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index.

national news uae

On Wednesday morning, several employees of the UAE’s state-owned newspaper, Al-Bateen, were fired, allegedly for their political views. This follows a series of mass firings at other UAE media outlets this year – raising questions about censorship in the country.

The dismissals come as the UAE is preparing to hold its first ever free and fair parliamentary elections next month. The authorities have insisted that the polls will be free and fair, but critics say they are being held under pressure from the ruling family.

The firing of Al-Bateen employees is just one part of a wider crackdown on freedom of expression in the UAE. In March, journalists working for two leading newspapers were arrested on charges of spying for Qatar. And earlier this year, the government banned a popular satirical TV programme called “Al-Nas”.

What do you think is behind these worrying developments?

india to uae flight news today

In a mass firing at the UAE newspaper, questions are being raised about censorship. According to the Associated Press, police say the gunmen opened fire on a group of journalists outside the paper’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi early Wednesday. At least four people were reported wounded. It was not immediately clear what provoked the attack.

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but some believe it may be connected to criticism of the UAE government published in the newspaper recently. The UAE has a history of strict censorship and does not allow any criticism of its ruling family or policies.

This is just the latest in a string of attacks against media outlets in the UAE. In January, two journalists with Al-Arabiya TV station were attacked while they were working on their car outside their building. And last year, an editor at another Abu Dhabi newspaper was stabbed after publishing articles critical of the government.

Critics say these attacks are part of a broader effort by the government to control information and silence dissent. But officials have denied that there is any censorship campaign underway, insisting that all media outlets are treated equally.

Gulf news today

The mass firing at the UAE’s largest newspaper raises questions about censorship and free speech in the country. The paper, The National, said on Tuesday that it had dismissed its entire editorial staff following a “serious internal issue.” It was not clear what the issue was.

Some believe that the firing was connected to an article published earlier this month criticizing the government. In it, the paper’s editor-in-chief, Mohammed Al Shehi, called for reforms in the country. “If we do not urgently amend our system and culture, our Arab Spring will turn into a bitter winter,” he wrote.

Critics say that such criticism is seen as treason in the UAE, where royal family members are often considered influential voices. Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling for Al Shehi’s reinstatement.

Khaleej times

The firing of more than thirty journalists from the UAE’s state-owned newspaper, The National, has raised questions about censorship in the country. The National was shut down last week after publishing an article criticising the government. Sources told the Reuters news agency that the journalists were sacked for “disrespecting authorities”.

Censorship has been a main concern in the UAE since mass protests broke out in December 2010. The government has consistently denied using censorship to quash dissent, but critics say that it is a tool used to control the population. Rights groups have also accused the government of using anti-terrorism laws to silence its critics.

The firing of The National’s journalists comes as the country prepares to host World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd. It is unclear whether this latest incident will further dampen public sentiment towards the government or spark a resistance movement against censorship.

breaking news

Last night, a mass firing took place at UAE newspaper, The National. With dozens of employees laid off in a single night, questions abound as to why this happened and whether censorship played a role.

The National is one of the most influential newspapers in the UAE, and its closure has left many residents wondering what happened. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Mohammed Al-Shehi, has denied that censorship was involved and argued that the firings were part of an overall restructuring plan. However, some employees who were let go claim that their superiors made it clear that they were not welcome any longer.

The timing of the firings is curious given that they came just days after The National published an article about the royal family’s alleged involvement in corruption. While it’s unclear what caused the firing spree, it’s undeniable that the situation raises questions about freedom of the press in the UAE.


It’s been a tense few days in the UAE as a mass firing at an influential newspaper has sparked speculation of censorship. The Saudi-owned Al Bayan has published a series of articles critical of the UAE government, and according to some reports, it may have been targeted with a campaign of intimidation because of its dissenting views. In light of this news, we need to ask ourselves – is there ever a time when free speech is actually censored? And if so, who decides when it’s appropriate to clamp down on criticism?


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