UAE: Female Twitter User Rowda Hamed Summoned for Interrogation

Twitter avatar of UAE female twitter user Rowda Hamed

On Wednesday morning, a female Twitter user from the United Arab Emirates called Rowda Hamed (@Rowda_Hamed) tweeted saying that she has been summoned for interrogation. She is one of the few Twitter users from the UAE supporting the five detained activists who recently went on hunger strike, which she joined in to show support, according to her older tweets. Blogger Khalifa Al-Nuaimi (@Alnuaimi_k) started the hashtag #RowdaHamed to support her and spread her case through Twitter. Many tweeps, especially from outside the UAE, have tweeted to show solidarity. Rowda wrote explaining how the summoning came [Ar]:

والدتي منهارة من خبر استدعاء جهاز الأمن لي،بغضّ النظر عن الأذى الذي سأتلقاه أنا أو أسرتي،أنا ثابتة على موقفي
@Rowda_Hamed: My mother is devastated over the security's call for me, despite the harm that I and my family will go through, I insist on my stand.
للعلم هذا رابع استدعاء لي،ذهبت مرتين،وفي الثالثة لم أذهب ومع ذلك أوذيت،الله وحده يعلم ما يحضّرونه لي من مفاجآت طالما لم تنفع القوة والتهديد
@Rowda_Hamed: For your information, this is the fourth call I got, I went twice and the third I did not and no harm was done to me. Only God knows what surprises they're preparing for me when force and threats don't work!
الاستدعاء لا يعتبر رسميا،طالما كان عن طريق الاتصال بأخي،لذلك لا أنوي الذهاب حتى لو أرغموني بالقوة
@Rowda_Hamed: The call is not official because they called my brother. I do not want to go even if I were forced to.

Saudi female blogger Nouf Abdullaziz (@nofah1) wrote one of the early reactions to Rowda's ordeal:

روضة ساعدتني في مجال المعتقلين دون أن تنتظر جزاءًاأوشكورًا لم تقل هؤلاء ليسوامن بلدي، بل بادرت،اللهم انهانصرتنا فأنصرها ياالله
@nofah1: Rowda helped me in the case of Saudi detainees without waiting for any reward or thanks. She did not think that they are not of her country. May God help her.

From the UAE, Ibrahim Alharam (@IbrahimAlharam) condemned such action against activists:

روضة حامد مثال للفتيات الاماراتيات اللواتي يحملن هم هذا الوطن ،، لا للاجراءات الأمنية التعسفية ضد كل الناشطين
@IbrahimAlharam: Rowda Hamed is a role model for Emirati women who care about their country. No to the oppressing security acts against activists.

Rashid Al-kaabi (@rashid580) wrote in criticism of Gulf leaders:

تستغرب عندما يغردون القاده العرب والخليج بشكل خاص وينصحون بشار ونسو انفسهم
@rashid580: You wonder how Arab and Gulf leaders in specific, advise Bashar Assad and forget about their own acts.

Qatari lawyer Ahmad Alkhanji (@aalkhanji) has also criticized the Emirati authorities on this:

كيف تدعي الرغبة في الاصلاح السياسي ثم تعتقل من يتعاطف مع سجين الرأي؟
@aalkhanji: How do you claim that you want political reform then arrest someone who sympathizes with political detainees?
سلطات ابوظبي تخلق لنفسها مشكلة وتشوه صورة الامارات امام المنظمات الحقوقية .. والله من لا شي!
@aalkhanji: Abu Dhabi authorities are distorting the UAE's image in front of human rights organizations. And for no reason!

Active Saudi Twitter user (@SAUDI_LIBER) referred to the case of Rowda as an example of what Gulf rulers do:

روضة…صورة من النفاق السياسي لحكام الخليج..وازدواج المعايير..وفي كل دولة خليجية الف روضة
@SAUDI_LIBER: Rowda shows the image of political hypocrisy of Gulf rulers and double standards. In each Gulf country, there are a thousand Rowdas.

Abdullah Al-Balasi (@3bdlla) draws a comparison between his country, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE:

بالرغم من سوء الموقف المحلي لدينا في السعودية، لكن يبدو اننا لانقارن بالامارات! الفتاة ليس لها تأثير والفلوزر ألف ليه التحقيق؟!
@3bdlla: Despite how bad the local situation is in Saudi Arabia, it does not seem comparable to the UAE. The girl has no influence and only got a thousand followers, why would she be interrogated!

An Emirati engineer called Tariq Alhammadi (@Tariq_Alhammadi) asked a logical question:

سؤال يطرح نفسه : قبل ان يسرف الجميع في الحديث عن موضوع روضه حامد ، حد منكم يعرف روضه حامد شخصيا ومتأكد من مصداقية ما تقول ؟!
@Tariq_Alhammadi: Before everyone talks about Rowda Hamed, does any of you know her personally and sure of how legitimate her claims are?

Emirati Sami (@bnt3bdallah) wrote to clarify and admit:

@bnt3bdallah: I don't believe that the UAE is at this level of oppression.. BUT I don't think its fair that we r n the dark about the 5 convicts.

Another Twitter user (@dankendonuts) from the UAE wrote in optimism:

السلطات الإماراتية مستحيل تضرها بِ شي ! و روضةة راجعتلگم ، وحتى المعتقلين بإذن الله بيرجعون، حگومتنا ما تظلم
@dankendonuts: UAE authorities will never harm her! Rowda will be back to you, and the five detainees too. Our government is never unfair.

Several Twitter users from the UAE with anonymous identities were bashing Rowda and the five detained activists too. This one for example, which uses the same conspiracy theory popular in the region now, which is to claim that anyone who opposes the regime is an Iranian:

روضه حامد إيرانية وليست إماراتية … ولا تمت بصله للإمارات

: Rowda Hamed is Iranian not Emirati. She has nothing to do with the UAE.

This one, on the other hand, brought the common Emirati charge which puts any one from the opposition as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood group:

يا سلام يا الإخونجيه بتلعبون علينا تفووو عليكم تحرضون على الدولة بهذي الإيرانيه ههههههه الحق بيبيين كالعادة
@AliAlisaeed5: You Muslim Brotherhood groups want to play on us. I spit on you. You are calling on people to stand against the state with this Iranian woman. The truth will come out as usual


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