UAE criminalizes insult to religion

Updated 22 July 2015

UAE criminalizes insult to religion

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates has outlawed religious or racial discrimination, the state news agency WAM said on Monday, citing a royal decree by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
The law is aimed in part at countering extremist militancy, particularly the practice whereby hard-liners label followers of other schools of Islam unbelievers, but it also outlaws insults against religion, class, race or ethnicity.
“The new law No. 02 of 2015 criminalizes any acts that stoke religious hatred and/or which insult religion through any form of expression, be it speech or the written word, books, pamphlets or via online media,” WAM reported.
No. 02 Law of 2015 bans any form of hate crimes that attack religions through any form, speech, written word, or via online media. The law aims to safeguard the community on the basis of and environment of tolerance and open-mindedness.
The new law also criminalizes any vandalism of religious symbols, rituals or holy rites. Citizens are encouraged to report any form of religious-hate incitement or racism to the authorities.
Penalties for violation of the various provisions of the law include jail-terms of six months to over 10 years and fines from AED50,000 to AED2 million.


Sudan flood death toll reaches 62: state media

Updated 52 min 18 sec ago

Sudan flood death toll reaches 62: state media

  • Sudan has been hit by torrential rains since the start of July
  • Nearly 200,000 people in at least 15 states across the country have been affected

KHARTOUM: Heavy rainfall and flash floods have killed 62 people in Sudan and left 98 others injured, the official SUNA news agency reported on Sunday.
Sudan has been hit by torrential rains since the start of July, affecting nearly 200,000 people in at least 15 states across the country including the capital Khartoum.
The worst affected area is the White Nile state in the south.
Flooding of the Nile river remains "the biggest problem", SUNA said, citing a health ministry official.
On Friday the United Nations said 54 people had died due to the heavy rains.
It said more than 37,000 homes had been destroyed or damaged, quoting figures from the government body it partners with in the crisis response.
"Humanitarians are concerned by the high likelihood of more flash floods," the UN said, adding that the rainy season was expected to last until October.
The floods are having a lasting humanitarian impact on communities, with cut roads, damaged water points, lost livestock and the spread of water-borne diseases by insects.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said an extra $150 million were needed from donors to respond to surging waters, in addition to the $1.1 billion required for the overall humanitarian situation in Sudan.