Crime and Courts

Man arrested for online hate crime

Amira Agarib /Dubai Filed on January 1, 2016 | Last updated on January 1, 2016 at 06.55 am
Man arrested for online hate crime

He uploaded a video making fun of religious festivals of non-Muslims and abused them.

Implementing the Anti-Discrimination Law that was introduced this year, the Dubai Police have arrested a man for making an obscene video insulting different religions. The video apparently went viral online.

Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police said on Thursday that the police arrested a UAE national who made a video that was widely circulated on social media as he made fun of religious festivals of non-Muslims and abused them.

Al Mazeina said that the police launched an investigation and arrested the man. He has been referred to the legal authorities. He said that the Anti-Discriminatory Law criminalises any act that stokes religious hatred and/or which insults religion through any form of expression. The law also bans any kind of hate speech or any abusive written word, books, pamphlets or posted online. The law also includes provisions for punishing anyone for terming other religious groups or individuals as infidels, or unbelievers.

"Those who spread hate among people by circulating videos or writing in social media would be brought to justice," said Al Mazeina.

The law also 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 also prohibits any entity or group established specifically to provoke religious hatred and recommends stringent punishments for groups or supporters of any organisations or individuals that are associated with hate crimes. "The law encourages anyone involved in any activity that violates the law to voluntarily submit themselves before the authorities and has provisions allowing the courts to waive penalties in such cases."

Penalties for violation of the provisions of the law include jail terms ranging from six months to more than 10 years and fines from Dh50,000 to Dh2 million.

Amira Agarib

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