ABU DHABI // An Emirati prisoner faces up to five extra years inside for cursing Sheikh Khalifa, the President of the UAE, after the jail's water supply was cut off.
Initially jailed for a year over a debt from a rental car dispute, HSh has already had eight years added to his sentence for insulting prison guards, officers and inmates. He admitted being "generally irritable".
HSh, who lived in Abu Dhabi before his incarceration, appeared yesterday before the State Security Court charged with using abusive words against the President.
He is alleged to have uttered the words after the water supply at Al Wathba prison was shut off for three days during Ramadan. He complained that the stoppage was causing other inmates to smell, because they could not wash.
In private testimony to the judge, a prison guard confirmed only that he had heard HSh use abusive words against the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
HSh called for further guards to testify, claiming none would be able to say they had heard him curse Sheikh Khalifa.
Article 176 of the Federal Penal Code allows up to five years in jail for anyone who publicly insults - in any way - the President of the UAE, its flag or its national emblem.