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Tue 19 May 2015 02:25 PM

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UAE court jails Qatari nationals for insulting royals

Five Qataris have been jailed for defaming the UAE royal family on social media - report

UAE court jails Qatari nationals for insulting royals

Five Qataris have been jailed for defaming the UAE royal family on social media.

The Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced four Qatari nationals to life imprisonment and another to ten years in jail after they were found guilty of spreading malicious information about the UAE royal family on websites, including Twitter.

The convicts were also ordered to pay hefty fines of AED1 million ($272,255).

UAE state news agency WAM said the verdicts were issued in the presence of the first defendant, named in The National newspaper as 33-year-old Hamad Al Hammadi, who was found guilty of attempting to smear the UAE government’s reputation by posting insulting images of the country’s state symbols.

Al Hammadi was sentenced to 10 years in jail and ordered to pay an AED1 million fine, while four other unnamed Qatari individuals were convicted in absentia and handed a life sentence as well as AED1 million fines.

The court also ordered the convicts to be deported after serving their jail terms, WAM said. Meanwhile a three-year jail sentence was handed to an Emirati identified only as ASA for abusing state symbols at his place of work.

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