Jailed UAE activists are pardoned

Five political activists were pardoned yesterday, a day after receiving jail sentences of up to three years for insulting the leaders of the United Arab Emirates.

The five, who had been on hunger strike for two weeks before their convictions, included a blogger and an economics professor. They were arrested in April after signing an online petition demanding political reforms, including free elections.

The case had been read as a gauge of how the Gulf state responds to political dissidence after Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere. Reuters