Staff fired from UAE newspaper over tweet offending royals

Staff fired from UAE newspaper over tweet offending royals
At least three senior employees at UAE newspaper al-Bayan have been fired after publishing a story regarding a tweet that attacked Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince.
2 min read
17 December, 2015
The tweet caused offence to the Crown Prince of Abu Dahbi. [Getty]
An Emirati newspaper has come under fire for reporting on a Tweet that praised the Islamic State group and attacked the United Arab Emirates' ruling family.

The incident has led to the sacking of three senior editors, despite the critical tone of the newspaper towards the original author of the tweet.

Al-Bayan newspaper quoted a tweet that threatened to raise the Islamic State group's black banner over Dubai's iconic Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world.

It also accused the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed al-Nahyan of belonging to the secretive freemasons society.

"The Rotary Club [service organisation] is sponsored by freemason Abu Khalid [Nahyan] and we will place the flag of the Islamic State [group] on top of the Burj Khalifa," it read.

The tweet also contained a link to a video that showed different Rotary Club meeting places in the UAE. 

Al-Bayan printed the link but then issued a formal apology.

"The newspaper editors are conducting a thorough investigation which will result in the punishment of offender in the matter," said the newspaper in an official statement.

It asserted that all its employees abide by 'national principles'.

A number of al-Bayan's senior staff have been sacked, including the newspaper's chief editor Daen Shahin, deputy editor Ali Shahdoor and editor Omar al-Omar.

They had been working at the newspaper for 35 years.

Formal warning has also been given to a number of other journalists in the newspaper.

A hashtag #Bayan_Newspaper_Offends_Shiekh_Mohammed has been created by Twitter users in the UAE calling for the punishment of those responsible for printing the tweer.

The newspaper, part of Dubai Media Incorporated, is owned by Hasher al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family.