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Gulf crisis: UAE to punish Qatar sympathisers with 15 year jail term

Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, say reports quoting an UAE official

world Updated: Jun 07, 2017 11:44 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
Gulf crisis,Qatar,Saudi Arabia
Men stand at Souq Waqif market in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday. (REUTERS)

The United Arab Emirates has banned people from publishing expressions of sympathy towards Qatar and will punish offenders with a jail term of up to 15 years, the UAE-based newspaper Gulf News and pan-Arab channel Al-Arabiya reported on Wednesday.

The United Arab Emirates, along with several other powerful Arab states, severed diplomatic ties with fellow Gulf state Qatar on Monday over its alleged support for Islamist groups and Iran. Qatar denies the accusations.

“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.

On top of a possible jail term, offenders would also be hit with a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams, the newspaper said, citing a statement to Arabic-language media.

Qatar says it was facing a campaign of lies and fabrications aimed at putting the Gulf Arab state under guardianship, after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with it.

“The campaign of incitement is based on lies that had reached the level of complete fabrications,” the Qatari foreign ministry said.

It added that, as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it was committed to its charter, respected the sovereignty of other states and did not interfere in their affairs.

First Published: Jun 07, 2017 11:36 IST