United Arab Emirates warns of prison sentences if people support Qatar on social media

United Arab Emirates warns of prison sentences if people support Qatar on social media

The Attorney General in Abu Dhabi has published a stern warning of consequences for support for Qatar

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The United Arab Emirates has taken a firm line on any support or sympathy expressed towards Qatar as the diplomatic row continues to grow between the two countries. 

On Monday, the UAE - in addition to Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt - cut ties with Qatar over allegations the country was furthering instability in the region by supporting militant groups. 

Now the UAE attorney general in Abu Dhabi, Dr Hamad Saif Al Shamsi, has published a statement to announce strict punishments for any online display of support towards Qatar or criticism of the UAE, or the four others who have taken action.

Any display of sympathy or support showed on social media could result in a prison sentence of between three to 15 years, as well as a fine of 500,000 dirhams (£105,000).

The announcement came over the Ministry of Justice's social media accounts. 

The government in Doha has denied the allegations against it as the crisis escalates.