“We were born and lived in the UAE and we know that the position of the Emiratis regarding Palestine is firm and definitive; the Palestinian cause lies in the heart of all Emiratis,” Hamad al-Shamesi said in an interview with the Arabi 21 online newspaper.
Explaining why a limited number of Emirati activists had denounced Abu Dhabi’s rapprochement with Israel, al-Shamesi said “the answer is very obvious, anyone who criticizes the government has to pay a heavy price”.
“He may be condemned to pay up to one million dirhams (US $272,260) and 10 years in jail,” he added.
“Unfortunately the government has stepped up its repressive measures against citizens and immigrants with a focus on security policies and controlling beliefs. People are paying a high price for this,” he said.