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.

 

Tougher penalties as UAE updates counter-terrorism law

Three senior Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades commanders killed in Gaza

Obama demands world action against jihadist ‘cancer’

France delivered arms to Syrian rebels 'a few months ago'

British jihadists on forefront on IS propaganda

Abbas holds talks with Meshaal in Doha

Iraq Kurds face real challenges in fight against IS jihadists

Death toll in Syria war tops 180,000

US reveals failed operation to rescue American hostages in Syria

Somali journalists face trial for ‘violence incitement’

Iran asks West: What is our reward for help against IS jihadists?

Turkey ruling party meets to agree Davutoglu as PM

Kuwait nabs suspected Al-Nusra Front financier

Hamas armed wing declares end to truce talks in Cairo

Tribal clashes kill dozens of people in troubled Darfur

Dubai real estate giant to repay debt four years ahead

Egypt hopes power cuts could ease next week

Jihadist beheading of US journalist sparks worldwide revulsion

Iran provides ‘advice’ to Kurds fighting IS jihadists in Iraq

Power cuts and petrol shortages: Life grows increasingly difficult in Libya

Suspected attack by Kurdish rebels kills one Turkish soldier

UN launches huge aid operation in northern Iraq

Israel pounds Gaza as mourners cry ‘revenge’

Outgoing first lady breaks silence on ‘falsehoods’ against Turkey President

Ex CIA boss: journalist's killing 'first IS terrorist attack against US

Scores of armed Yemen rebels boost positions in capital

Sinai jihadists punish supporters of Egypt army with decapitation

Germany ready to support Iraq Kurds in battle against ‘barbaric’ IS

Iran’s 'reformist' science minister sacked

Turkey assures Ocalan Kurdish peace process will press ahead

Hollande: international situation ‘most serious’ since 2001

Israeli minister: ‘Deif deserves to die’

German minister accuses Qatar of financing IS

US hits back at criticism of Ferguson racial unrest

Jihadists to US: stop air strikes or we will behead second reporter

Temporary Gaza ceasefire goes up in smoke

Islamic State in Syria: Not few brainwashed people but whole army

Egypt to US: Show us how you deal with unrest in Ferguson

Turkey seeks to revive peace talks with Iraq Kurdish rebels

Tit-for-tat attacks break Gaza ceasefire

Huthi rebels cook up ‘armed coup’ in Yemen capital

Flood of weapons in South Sudan: Who’s not to blame?

After morale boosting victory, Iraq forces intensify attacks on IS

Multi-national Arab Bank on trial for supporting terror

Violence-hit Libya gradually boosting oil output