First Published: 2012-11-13

 

UAE issues tough law for online dissent

 

Gulf state unveils new law that punishes spreading of any material that calls for toppling, changing regime or seizing power by prison sentence.

 

Middle East Online

Boosting the UAE's political stability

DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates issued a new law toughening penalties for cyber crimes to include jail terms for anyone who calls for regime change or mocks its rulers, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

Under the new law, which annuls one issued in 2006, the spreading of any material that calls for "toppling, changing the regime or seizing power" is punishable by a prison sentence, Emarat Alyoum reported, citing the text.

The law gives the judicial authorities the same powers to punish "calls to disobey the principles of the political system" in the Gulf country, a federation of sheikhdoms.

Although oil-rich UAE has been spared the wave of uprisings that hit most Arab countries, the authorities have clamped down on Islamists and claimed in July to have dismantled a group plotting against state security.

Several of those arrested had been active on online social media networks.

Also under the new law, anyone convicted of "creating or running websites that deride or damage the reputation or stature of the country and its rulers will face a minimum jail sentence of three years," said The National, an English-Language daily.

This includes the president, the vice president, rulers and deputy rulers of the emirates and crown princes.

Anyone using electronic sites "to call for disobeying the laws and regulations of the state, as well as to call for demonstrations, marches and similar activities without obtaining a licence, also faces imprisonment," it added.

The United Arab Emirates has come under criticism over arrests.

A European Union resolution last month condemned "harassment," "restrictions on freedom of expression" and "illegal imprisonment" suffered by pro-democracy activists in the UAE, and demanded the "unconditional release of prisoners of conscience," which it says number 64.

The Gulf state dismissed the accusations as unfounded.

 

Iraq forces take ISIS last positions in Fallujah

Jordan court charges 21 people with 'terrorism'

Iran conceals heated military standoff in Kurdish region

Sarraj says only united military can defeat ISIS in Libya

Iran cracks down on ‘Western culture’ of canine ownership

Dozens killed as clashes intensify in Yemen

Brexit vote lays bare depth of division across Britain

Young Britons vent anger at grey Brexit vote

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria regime forces closes in

Car bomb kills four civilians in Libya's Benghazi

US-backed Syria fighters edge further into ISIS border hub

Tunisia flaunts seaside security to bring back tourists

Britain and EU: A fraught divorce

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen

Turkey blocks visit of German delegation to Incirlik air base

Trump goes on blistering offensive against Clinton

EU negotiators endorse new border force proposal

Head of EU parliament hopes to arrange meeting of Israeli, Palestinian leaders

Turkish prosecutors demand 14 years for activists

Final push for votes as EU leaders warn over Brexit

Egypt government appeals court block on islands’ transfer to Saudis

Heat, long fasting days take their toll on Cairo residents

Assad names Imad Khamis as new Prime Minister

Turkey wants Britain to stay in EU 'under any circumstances'

EU to open new membership talks with Turkey

Turkey arrests 3 IS suspects over 'LGBT rally plot'

Yemen rebels say consensus president crucial for peace deal

Fallujah 'almost cleared' of ISIS jihadists