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Rights group calls on Twitter to investigate UAE office

In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 in this arranged photograph on September 25, 2016 in Paris, France (Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 [Chesnot/Getty Images)

A rights group yesterday called on Twitter to open an urgent investigation into the transparency of its regional office in the UAE as well as the nature of its relations with authorities in the country.

Skyline International, which advocates for freedom of opinion on social media, said in a statement: "Twitter should assume its responsibility to identify violations of its regional headquarters in Dubai regarding freedom of opinion and expression against opponents of governments of regional countries."

It also called for investigations into the high-level coordination between the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel on the prosecution and deletion of the accounts of human rights activists, journalists and opponents of those governments.

According to the rights watchdog, the Israeli company NSO and the UAE have been closely cooperating "in targeting dozens of human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society activists in different parts of the world, especially in the Middle East," noting that the most prominent of these cases is the UAE activist Ahmed Mansour.

The group highlighted the case of Radha Stirling, who represents Detained in Dubai and whose Twitter profiles were removed on Saturday for no apparent reason. Going on to call for her accounts to be reactivated as they highlight the suffering of those incarcerated in the UAE.

READ: The features of the UAE's new governance model

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