Amnesty International: UAE's glitzy facade hides 'ugly reality' for rights

Leading human rights group Amnesty International says the United Arab Emirates has quietly mounted an unprecedented clampdown on dissent since 2011, with more than 100 activists jailed or prosecuted for calling for political reform.

The nearly 80-page report by Amnesty, released early Tuesday, says the Western-allied Gulf Arab country tries to project an image of glitz and glamor, but that beneath this facade "is a much uglier reality, where activists who dare to challenge the authorities or speak out in favor of greater democracy and government accountability are thrown into jail."

The UAE, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is ruled by sheiks who inherit their posts. Amnesty said authorities responded to the report by saying that the promotion of human rights is an "ongoing process."