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New UAE law against hate crime: The main provisions

Insult or discrimination against any religion in any form will attract punishment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) henceforth.The punishment includes jail terms ranging upto more than 10 years and fines from upto Dh2 million in the UAE. The main provisions are as follow:

ABU DHABI: All forms of discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin through speech, written word, books, pamphlets or online media have been banned in the UAE with immediate effect from last Monday.

The following are the main provisions of the new law as reported by Gulf News. Punishment for violation is jail term ranging from six months to more than 10 years and fines up to Dh2 million.

The decree was issued by President Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The new law bears No 02 of 2015.

The provisions are:

The law criminalises any acts that stoke religious hatred

Criminalises any act that insults religion through any form of expression, be it speech or the written word, books, pamphlets or online

Punishes anyone for terming other religious groups or individuals as infidels, or unbelievers

Provides a sound foundation for the environment of tolerance, broad- mindedness and acceptance in the UAE

Aims to safeguard people regardless of their origin, beliefs or race, against acts that promote religious hate and intolerance

Includes jail terms of six months to more than 10 years for those who break the law Includes fines of between Dh50,000 and Dh2 million for those who break the law

Prohibits any act that would be considered as insulting God, His prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship or graveyards

Makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin

Prohibits any entity or group established specifically to provoke religious hatred

Recommends stringent punishments for groups or supporters of any organisations or individuals that are associated with hate crimes

Prohibits any kind of events such as conferences and meetings within the UAE organised with the sole purpose of sowing seeds of discrimination, discord or hatred against individuals or groups on the basis of faith, origin or race

Makes it illegal to receive financial support to fund activities that propagate hate

Encourages anyone involved in any activity that violates the law to voluntarily submit themselves before the authorities

Allows courts to waive penalties where people voluntarily submit themselves to authorities

Dovetails with other existing laws to protect specially privileged groups such as women, children and individuals with disabilities or others.

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