5 years’ jail and Dhs500,000 fine for delivering hate speech - GulfToday

5 years’ jail and Dhs500,000 fine for delivering hate speech

UAE-crime

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The Federal Public Prosecution has issued a statement on hate speech being treated as a crime in accordance with the Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on combating discrimination and hatred.

The prosecution sated that Article 1 of the Law criminalises any act that stokes religious hatred and/or which insults religion through any form of expression, be it speech or the written word, books, pamphlets or via online media. The law also includes provisions for punishing anyone for terming other religious groups or individuals as infidels, or unbelievers.

Strict action will be taken against any form of expressions of hatred or incitement to hate crimes spread in the form of speech and published in the media.

In accordance with the Article 7, penalties for violation of the various provisions of the law include jail-terms of minimum five years and fines of Dhs500,000 to Dhs1 million or one of both, the statement added.

The Anti-Discriminatory Law prohibits any act that would be considered as insulting God, his prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship or graveyards. It also has provisions to fight discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.

The law condemns actions that would comprise hate speech or the promotion of discrimination or violence against others using any form of media, including online, print, radio or visual media.

Earlier last week, Dr Sultan Al Remeithi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders, reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to combating hate speech across all mediums and safeguarding religious sites in meetings with senior UN officials.

“This year, the world witnessed an increase in horrifying terrorist attacks on places of worship, which we strongly condemn,” said Dr Sultan. He added that the UN Secretary-General’s call to draft the Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites is very timely and critical.

Dr Sultan participated in the UN Alliance of Civilizations’ (UNAOC) consultations on drafting the Plan of Action, where he reiterated the UAE’s support in both drafting and implementing the Plan of Action.

He also outlined the UAE’s initiatives in promoting peaceful coexistence and interreligious dialogue, including recent legislation to prevent hatred and discrimination, facilitating the establishment and promoting awareness of places of worship for different faiths, training of religious leaders to promote peaceful coexistence in their communities, and announcing 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.