As the diplomatic crisis in the Arab gets murkier day by day, the United Arab Emirates has banned people from publishing expressions of sympathy towards Qatar and ‘offenders’ will be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years.
The UAE’s top prosecutor Hamad Saif Al Shamsi warned on Tuesday that showing sympathy for Qatar on social media is a “crime”.
The decision comes on the heals of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and other Arab nations abruptly severing diplomatic ties with Doha, accusing them of supporting Iran and Islamist movements Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
The ‘offenders’ would also be hit with a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams (136128.51 USD).
Translation - Emirati attorney general: Expressing Sympathy for Qatar on social media websites is a crime punishable by law.
“Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form,” Gulf News quoted UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi as saying.
Saudi Arabia has accused Doha of supporting terrorism, a charge that Qatar denies.
The harsh measures, imposed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, have prompted empathy for Qataris from fellow Gulf citizens, Middle East Eye reported.