Five Emirati citizens were sentenced with up to three years in prison for publicly insulting U.A.E. rulers, a crime under the U.A.E. penal code. The defendants ran an online forum in which they voiced antigovernment sentiments. The U.A.E. has not experienced the unrest that other countries in the region did during the “Arab Spring” earlier this year. Human rights groups and civil activists believe the case is intended to serve as a warning to those citizens who engage in political expression. Some other citizens in the U.A.E. believe the five defendants deserve more time in jail, claiming that U.A.E. citizens enjoy many perks as a result of the generosity of its rulers and therefore, that what the defendants did was wrong. It is clear that freedom of expression is not encouraged in the U.A.E., particularly freedom to express one’s unhappiness with rulers. Freedom of expression is an important right, but how can a nation in which some citizens believe that citizens should not be permitted freedom of expression begin to change?