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03 November 2009

Reporter Allegedly Fired for Writing Stories About Emirates Airlines Safety Violations

In a story published on 29 October 2009, Reporters Without Borders discussed the firing of Courtney C. Radsch, a US journalist who recently lost her job at the Al Arabiya news website ( in the United Arab Emirates for posting information about safety violations by the national air carrier, Emirates Airlines.

The article, which was based in part on information obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request from the FAA, was first published on 4 October 2009 and she took it down about six hours later, in part out of pressure from Al Arabiya and also out fear of being arrested and fined by the government of the UAE. After being fired, she had her work visa canceled, and has subsequently left the UAE.

You can read the full story at her Arab Media blog. The name of the coauthor, who is still working at Al Arabiya, was removed from the story. It is otherwise intact.

The accident that was discussed in Radsch's story was a March 2009 landing accident in Melbourne, Australia involving an Emirates A340. The investigation into that accident was featured in an article last May. The article includes links to the preliminary accident report, as well as to a press conference involving the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. encourages you to read Radsch's article, and the preliminary findings of the ATSB investigation. Please feel free to leave comments on this article or to contact with other information that may shed light on the circumstances around the Emirates accident, or about the efforts to keep that story out of the the public eye, especially in the UAE.

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