DUBAI, June 7 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.
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall and Hadeel Al Sayegh)