UAE’s decree ending jail threats to Journalists a precedent – IFJ


Abu Dhabi : The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has welcomed a recent decree by the UAE that journalists should not be jailed for their work.

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A statement by IFJ Thursday said the decree “sets a precedent for the decriminalisation of media law in the region.”

“We welcome this decision by the United Arab Emirates to end the criminalisation of press offences and to support open and independent journalism,” said IFJ General-Secretary Aidan White.

“We hope that the UAE will serve as a model in the region and that other countries will follow suit with similar changes in their own laws.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai recently decreed that no one should imprison any journalist because of his or her work, saying that there are procedures to be taken against any journalist committing an offence but jailing is not one of them.

“The UAE prime minister wants to see a new press law with amendments that drop jailing as a penalty for press offences enacted very quickly,” said IFJ.

The IFJ expressed hopes that a change in the law in the United Arab Emirates will be the first of many in press laws in the Middle East.

“This is not just an important day for journalists in the UAE it is an important day for journalists throughout the region,” White said.