UAE: Up to 1 million AED fine or imprisonment as a punishment for hate speech

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

The Public Prosecution’s Criminal Information Center, known as "Wa’i," has disseminated crucial information regarding the legal ramifications of hate speech through a social media film.

According to Article 7 of Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2023, hate speech encompasses any statement or action aimed at fueling discord, strife, or discrimination among individuals or groups.

Under this law, individuals engaging in hate speech through any form of expression or medium face severe penalties. Offenders can be sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of one year and fined between 500,000 and 1,000,000 dirhams, or be subject to either of these penalties.

The dissemination of this information aligns with the State Public Prosecution’s ongoing initiative to bolster legal literacy within society. Through the Criminal Media Center “Wa’i,” the Prosecution aims to ensure that all citizens are well-informed about the latest legislation in the country. By raising public awareness of the law, the Prosecution seeks to instill a culture of legal compliance and understanding, thereby promoting law-abiding behavior as an integral aspect of everyday life.

This campaign reflects the government's commitment to combating discrimination, hatred, and extremism within the UAE. By imposing strict penalties for hate speech, authorities send a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated in society. The intention behind these measures is to foster a more inclusive and harmonious environment where individuals of diverse backgrounds can coexist peacefully.

Furthermore, the emphasis on legal education underscores the importance of informed citizenship in upholding the rule of law. By equipping individuals with knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, the government empowers them to contribute positively to society and adhere to legal standards.

The Public Prosecution’s efforts to educate the public about hate speech laws serve as a proactive measure to promote social cohesion and uphold the principles of justice and equality within the UAE. Through continued awareness-raising initiatives, the country strives to create a safe and inclusive environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

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Asma Ahmed
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