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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Supporting Qatar on social media a cybercrime, says UAE attorney general

Dr Hamad Saif Al Shamsi warned that statements supporting Qatar online could result in prison sentences from 3 to 15 years or at least Dh500,000 in fines.
Qatar Airways headquarters in Doha, Qatar. The UAE, Saudi, Egypt and Bahrain broke off relations with the country on June 5. EPA
Qatar Airways headquarters in Doha, Qatar. The UAE, Saudi, Egypt and Bahrain broke off relations with the country on June 5. EPA

ABU DHABI // Showing sympathy for Qatar on social media or by any other means of communication is a cybercrime punishable by law, the attorney general said on Wednesday.

Dr Hamad Al Shamsi said that statements supporting Qatar online could result in prison sentences of between three and 15 years, or at least Dh500,000 in fines.

His statement was published on the Ministry of Justice’s social media accounts.

The decision was taken to protect the UAE’s national security and interest as well of those of its people, Dr Al Shamsi said.

The prosecutor said the measure was put in place as a result of Doha’s “hostile and reckless policy against the UAE and a number of brotherly GCC and Arab states”.

The cybercrime law, which came into effect in December 2012, covers a broad range of offences in categories including undermining state security, political stability, morality and proper conduct.

People can be prosecuted for infractions as simple as slandering another online and for offences as far reaching as posting information with the goal of overthrowing the Government.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae