June 24, 2010
Posted: 1314 GMT
See full article in the UAE newspaper The National.
ABU DHABI // Visitors to websites that promote terrorist activities – many of which are accessible in this country – can now be charged with supporting terrorism, though strong evidence of criminal intent is required for conviction, a top state security judge says.
Chief Justice Shehab al Hammadi, who presides over all state security cases at the Federal Supreme Court, said a legal precedent had been set with the conviction of six people in April for operating a terror organisation, meaning that viewing such sites could now be considered a crime. As the first case to include charges of visiting jihadi websites it paved the way for other courts to approve charges against visitors to such sites.
Mr al Hammadi said that even if a website was not blocked, convictions could still be obtained if prosecutors showed a defendant had “criminal intentions” in visiting them. Examples, he saidd, included downloading extremist content from the websites or forwarding links to friends.
“These websites are available for everyone and it is almost impossible to block them, just like it is difficult to monitor all satellite channels. But when a person visits them and spreads their news or content among his or her acquaintance, that is considered like a crime they witnessed or committed,” Chief Justice al Hammadi said in an interview with The National.
Filed under: Media Science & Technology UAE
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