Journalist imprisoned over leaked UAE-Iraq pre-game comments


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Prosecutors in the United Arab Emirates on Friday announced they had imprisoned a television journalist over apparently leaked pre-match comments made before the Emirates’ tie with Iraq during a World Cup qualifier earlier this month.

Authorities did not identify the journalist they imprisoned from the state-run Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, nor the others fired from the broadcaster over the incident. However, they described the comments made as “harming the public interest and provoking hate speech.”

The comments came before the channel went on air between the match commentators and analysts back at a studio, according to a statement carried by the state-run WAM news agency.

The feed was “hacked and the published clips were seized and broadcast on accounts on some social media sites,” the WAM report said. It said an investigation continued into how the hack took place.

The detained journalist faces charges that carry up to five years in prison and a fine from $1,360 up to $136,000, according to the state-linked newspaper The National in Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi Sports Channel fired three people involved with the broadcast over the incident, WAM said. The two others were arrested and later released on bail, authorities said.

In the meeting of Dutch coaches, Bert van Marwijk’s United Arab Emirates lineup was held to a 2-2 draw by Dick Advocaat’s Iraq in Dubai on Oct. 12.

The UAE is a nation of autocratic rulers where speech is strictly monitored. Emiratis online have encouraged fellow citizens to report comments critical of the country to law enforcement in the past amid the country’s yearslong boycott of Qatar with other Arab nations. That boycott ended in January. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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2021 UConn Men’s Basketball
Date Opponent Time TV
9/9 @Central Connecticut 6:30pm FS1%
9/13 @ Coppin State Noon FS2
9/17 @ Long Island 6:30pm FS2
9/20 @ Binghamton non FS2
9/24 vs. Auburn 2:30pm ESPN
9/25 vs. Michigan State/Loyola-Chicago TBD ESPN/ ESPN2
9/26 vs. TBD TBD TBD
9/30 @ Maryland-Eastern Shore 7:00pm CBS SN
12/4 @ Grambling State 4:00pm FS2
12/8 @West Virginia TBD TBD
12/11 vs. St. Bonaventure 3:30pm ESPN2
12/18 @ Providence 5:00pm FOX
12/21 @ Marquette 9:00pm FS1
12/28 @ Xavier 7:00pm FS1
1/1 vs. Butler 4:00pm FS1
1/8 @ Seton Hall Noon FOX
1/12 vs. St. John’s 8:30pm FS1
1/15 @ Providence 2:00pm FS1
1/20 @ Butler 9:00pm FS1
1/25 @ Georgetown 8:30pm CBS SN
1/29 @ DePaul 6:30pm FS1
2/1 vs. Creighton 6:30pm FS1
2/5 @ Villanova Noon FOX
2/8 vs. Marquette 6:30pm FS1
2/13 @ St. John’s Noon FOX
2/16 vs. Seton Hall 8:30pm CBS SN
2/19 vs. Xavier noon FOX
2/22 vs. Villanova 8:00pm FS1
2/27 @ Georgetown Noon CBS
3/2 @ Creighton 8:30pm FS1
3/5 vs. DePaul TBD TBD

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