UAE Detains Foreign NGO Workers
Josh Rogin reported in his blog in Foreign Policy that U.A.E. authorities have “detained foreign employees of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and is preventing at least one of them from leaving the country.” Two of NDI’s Dubai office employees, director Patricia Davis , an American, and her deputy director Slobodon Milic, a Serbian National were stopped at the U.A.E. airport in Dubai as they tattempted to vacate the country. Although Davis was eventually let on the plance, Milic was not. Milic was reportedly released but still faces a travel ban. The U.A.E government notified NDI of their plans to criminally indict foreign NGO workers in the U.A.E. for “foreign interference in political affairs.”
U.A.E.’s decision to do so, according to Rogin, mirrors the actions taken by the Egyptian government, when they barred over a dozen foreign workers, including Americans working for NDI, from leaving the country.
Days before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the region, the U.A.E revoked the license of the NDI in Dubai, shutting down their operations. Clinton responded expressing regret, and said that she expected discussions on the subject to continue. The U.S. congressional staff delegation that has been raising the issue with U.A.E and American officials in Dubai this week said that U.A.E. officials argued that NDI was “operating without a licence, had no legal right to operate in the U.A.E., and was writing things that weren’t true.” Les Campbell, NDI’s Middle East Director, confirmed that NDI had no programs in the U.A.E.