Sports journalist arrested for racist tweet

The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution Office has ordered the arrest of a member of the sports media community in Abu Dhabi, for using social media to publish a tweet with racist language, which is considered criminal behaviour, according to the Law on Combatting Discrimination and Hatred.

The Prosecution explained that the law in the UAE has strict guidelines to prevent any behaviour that could spread discrimination within the community, while pointing out that the UAE’s international stature in the rule of the law index confirms its success in providing legal protection for community members from all backgrounds.

It added that respecting the privacy of others and their differences under the law’s umbrella has helped in achieving the vision of the country’s leadership, to create a safe society and a sustainable and competitive global economy.

The Prosecution highlighted the necessity of not using social media to spread information that might damage the community, as well as being careful when preparing, producing, using, publishing or sending words, phrases, gestures, symbols, drawings, photographs or recordings, whether visual, audio or written, that could compromise or insult the community or the general society.

It also stressed that the action it took is part of its duty to legally protect the social, moral and religious values of the community, which stipulates the principles of respect for others while pointing out that the stature of the accused as a media professional has exacerbated the crime, as he is a public figure with influence on his followers.

Law No. 02 of 2015 on combatting discrimination and hatred criminalises all actions against religions and their sanctities, as well as various forms of discrimination and hate speech.

The law prohibits offending, disparaging or shedding doubt about the Divine Entity; and offending, disrespecting or otherwise ridiculing or disparaging any of the religions or any of their ceremonies or holy places or interruption of licensed religious ceremonies or festivals or preventing them by violence or threats; as well as discrimination between individuals or groups on the basis of religion, beliefs, sect, race, colour or ethnicity.

It also criminalises any statement or action, which could incite disorder, tension or discrimination between individuals or groups, on internet, telephone networks, information technology tools, or any other audio, visual or written medium, such as statements, writings or drawings.

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