Hetta, United Arab Emirates online magazine has been ordered shut after they lost an appeal case launched against it by the Abu Dhabi Media Company. The e-magazine which was the first of its kind when it was launched in 1996 also had its chief editor, Ahmad Mohammed Bin Gharib fined 5500 USD
According to the Arabian Human Rights Initiative website, this case emanated from a case filed against the magazine by the Abu Dhabi Media Company over user comments about an article published on the site,
The case is based on an article published by the magazine in its issue No. 55 on May 4, 2009, under the title “Abu Dhabi TV: Emirate TV only in name”; http://www.hetta.com/new/news.php?do=view_subject&id=&ids=78 by the writer Enas Borini. The article criticized the way the Emirate TV channels are being administrated. The article did not exceed the permitted criticism, but the chairman of Abu Dhabi Media considered comments on the article “defaming him” and filed a complaint to the General Prosecution, which in turn decided to refer the case under number 8585 for the year 2009 to the Court on June 14, 2009.
Gulf News also reports that comments on online articles are now considered defamatory,
The comments were considered by the complainant and the Public Prosecution as slander and defamation.
The chief editor has said that they will be appealing the decision, we'll update you as the situation unfolds.