Last week, a grainy video from 2005 made headlines, shaking up viewers around the globe. The video, first shown on U.S.-based ABC News, showed Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan – brother of UAE's crown prince Sheikh Mohammed – torturing an Afghan grain farmer, attacking him with a cattle prod, then literally pouring salt on his wounds (WARNING: Video contains graphic content and is not suitable for all viewers. The video is accessible at ABC News ).
In Bahrain, Internet users were surprised to find out that access to the video on YouTube had been blocked by the Bahraini authorities. Writing on popular online forum, Bahrain Online, which is also banned in Bahrain, user Mahdy notes:
قامت وزارة الاعلام البحرينية بتستر على احد الجرائم التي بثت على اليوتيوب بعدما حجبت احد الفيديوهات التي تم نشرها في موقع اليوتيوب الشهير التي تظهر فيه تعذيب افغاني على يد عيسى بن راشد ال نهيان يظهر فيه وهو يعذب افغاني ، الراوبط في الاسفل محجوبة من قبل وزارة الاعلام ؟
هذا الموقع مغلق لمخالفته الأنظمة والقوانين في مملكة البحرين !
The Bahraini Ministry of Information is trying to cover up on a crime being broadcast on YouTube after it filtered a video published on the famous site which features an Afghani being tortured at the hands of Isa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The following links are blocked by the Ministry of Information:
They are blocked because they go against the laws and regulations in the Kingdom of Bahrain!
Arab Lady, a UAE-based blogger, had only this to say about the video:
No comment!!Mercy Mercy Mercy on Earth ya Allahhhhhhhhhhhh
Muscat Confidential, an Oman-based blog, also brings up the U.S. in its assessment of the situation:
Tapes released by a former business partner of the Sheikh, and broadcast last week by US network ABC, showed the UAE Sheikh personally torturing an Afghan trader over a missing load of grain. The story was around in mid-2008, but now that ABC have broadcast it, the issue is again in the news: the main question is what will the new US Administration do?
The activist site UAE Torture, which is reportedly blocked in the UAE, offers more information on the story and its background.