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UAE blocks academic from Arab Spring conference

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February 23, 2013 04:47 AM EST | AP

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The London School of Economics has pulled out of an academic conference on the Arab Spring after one of its scholars says he was denied entry into the United Arab Emirates.

The dispute comes as the UAE shows increasing unease about possible Arab Spring-inspired political challenges, including a widening crackdown on perceived dissent that includes 94 people charged with coup plotting.

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, co-director of the Kuwait program at the London School of Economics, said Saturday he was denied entry in Dubai and returned to London.

He said no reason was given. There was no immediate comment from UAE authorities.

In response, the London School of Economics pulled out of the planned Sunday conference on the Arab Spring and its aftermath, co-hosted by the University of Sharjah.