By Sarah Townsend
An official in Dubai has lodged a criminal complaint against a Saudi writer
A former head of Dubai Police is believed to have launched legal proceedings against a controversial Saudi writer.
He claims it is the first case to make use of new ‘anti hate crime’ laws introduced in the UAE last week.
Last Monday the UAE government announced it had issued a new law to punish hate crimes based on religious, ethnic or other discrimination.
The law is intended to promote religious and cultural tolerance and comes into effect in the coming weeks.
According to a report in 7 Days, lieutenant general Dahi Khalfan bin Tamim, head of general security for the Emirate of Dubai, and head of Dubai Police between 1980 and 2013, claimed Saudi writer Mohammed Al Hadif has been spreading hate against the UAE on social media using his Twitter account.
In particular, bin Tamim alleges, Al Hadif has been critical of the UAE’s involvement in the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.
Al Hadif has almost 500,000 followers on Twitter, 7 Days said, adding that he was banned from using Twitter by the Saudi authorities in 2014 for posting messages in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and calling for the deposed former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to be reinstated.
Bin Tamim wrote on his own Twitter account: “I have launched a case against Mohammed Al Hadif because of his insults and hate speech against the UAE. We are organising a case now to pursue him, according to the new law.”
And in an earlier tweet, he reportedly claimed that Al Hadif is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.