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.

 

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

Iran flogs 5 people for eating in public during Ramadan

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce

Hezbollah chief speaks out on Gaza

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'

Jordan shots down drone near Syria border

Gaza civilian toll spiralling to above 800

UN urges Europe to tackle Mediterranean migrant crisis

From Israel with ‘virus’: Death threat letter reaches Palestinian mission in France

Ordeal of ‘apostasy’ woman ends with departure from Sudan

Another bloody day as Israel targets civilians in UN-run school

‘Islamic State’ launches multiple attacks on Syria army

Attack on Egypt army post bears fingerprints of foreign intelligence

Harassment of Christians escalates in Islamist-run Sudan

Air Algerie plane goes missing over Mali

Algeria plane with many French nationals on board vanishes over Mali

Iraqi protesters denounce treatment of minority Christians

Iraq elects Kurdish politician as federal president

Russia begins supplying military equipment to Iraq