Ministry dissolves Teachers' Association board

Ministry of Social Affairs appoints interim board to one of the country's oldest civil associations.

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DUBAI // The Teachers' Association received a letter from the Ministry of Social Affairs yesterday informing the organisation of the dissolution of its board.

The association, which has its headquarters in Sharjah and offices in six emirates, was formed in 1980 and is one of the oldest civil associations in the country.

New members were elected to the Teachers' Association board two months ago and were meant to serve for four years.

However, a letter from the Ministry of Social Affairs to association chairman Isa al Sari said an interim board of directors would be appointed for the next six months, followed by new elections.

"The ousted board has broken Article 16 and Article 47 of Federal Law No 2 of 2008 regarding the national societies and associations of public welfare," the letter read. "The current members of the association are to hand over all funds, records, documents and books to the new board in the presence of a ministry official."

Ahmed al Nuaimi, the former vice president of the dissolved board, said the Teachers' Association members were questioned and an investigation was conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs after they signed a petition calling for universal suffrage in March.

"We expected this after they dissolved the Jurists Association," said Mr al Nuaimi. "We are sending a letter to the Ministry of Social Affairs and we are registering a legal case because the dissolving of the board has been done illegally and without reason."

Last month, the board of the Jurists Association was dissolved on the grounds it had broken federal law.

In a statement issued on the state news agency WAM at the time, the Ministry of Social Affairs said civil society organisations needed to "comply with state regulations and laws governing their activities and scope of work".

Article 16 of Federal Law No 2 of 2008 states: "The society may not deviate from the objectives stipulated under its articles of association.

"The society and its members are prohibited to interfere in politics or in the matters that impair the state security and its ruling regime, nor to arouse sectarian, racial or religious disputes."