Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

UAE toughens law on internet dissent

13 November 2012, 12:56

Abu Dhabi - The United Arab Emirates has tightened the law on online dissent, imposing jail terms for anyone who derides or caricatures the Gulf Arab country's rulers or state institutions on the web.

The UAE did not undergo the popular uprisings that toppled four Arab heads of state in 2011, but it has shown little tolerance toward dissent and more than 60 members of an Islamist group have been detained since the start of the year.

The amendments to an existing law on internet crime were issued in a decree by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the state news agency WAM reported on Monday.

They "stipulate penalties of imprisonment on any person who creates or runs an electronic website or uses any information technology medium to deride or damage the reputation or stature of the state or any of its institutions", the report said.

This includes the president, the vice president, any of the rulers of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, crown princes, deputy rulers, the national flag, the national anthem, the emblem of the state or any of its symbols, it said.

New rules

Social networking sites have enlivened public discourse in the UAE, a major oil exporter and business hub, where state media is tightly controlled and freedom of speech is restricted.

People across society, from ruling family members, to ministers, government supporters and dissidents, make use of sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The amendments cover a wide range of offences, including outlawing the use of the internet for human trafficking and prostitution.

But the new rules also include jail terms for "any person publishing any information, news, caricatures or any other kind of pictures that would pose threats to the security of the state and to its highest interests or violate its public order," WAM reported.

In addition, anyone who uses the internet "to call for demonstrations, marches and similar activities without a license being obtained in advance from the competent authorities" could also face imprisonment.

- Reuters

Tags internet
NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
KISIKA SAMUEL
Mobile Phone Company CEOs warned ...

The Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i has warned CEOs of mobile phone services against activating unregistered Sim-cards. Read more...

Submitted by
Arap Yego
KES50m loan scheme launched by Bu...

The county government has begun the disbursement of KES50 million that it had set aside to support micro and small enterprises in each of the 45 wards in the region. Read more...

Submitted by
#Paul
Counties getting 40 percent would...

Counties have been introduced to Kenyans through the constitution and they are meant to bring government closer to the people. Read more...

Submitted by
Mbungu Harrison
County embraces on local tourism,...

The county executive Joab Tumbo has said the government has the potential to make the domestic tourism a success citing concerns of insecurity. Read more...

Submitted by
Jonsey
Nyeri TNA Majority Leader removed...

TNA Majority Leader in Nyeri County Assembly, Anthony Kibuu has was Wednesday hounded out of office by party members under controversial circumstances. Read more...

Submitted by
Mbungu Harrison
Police gundown 3 notorious crimin...

Police officers from the Flying Squad Unit have shot dead three notorious criminals in a botched robbery at a Changamwe petrol station in Mombasa county. Read more...