UAE social media users 'showing sympathy' for Qatar could face jail time

The government of the United Arab Emirates has ordered Emirates airline to cancel flights to and from Doha beginning Tuesday, June 6.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told Reuters that there might be more curbs necessary and reiterated that Qatar needed to commit to changing its policies. However, when asked in a rare interview what Emiratis would be willing to concede, Gargash offered nothing.

Soccer's world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association also has said it remains in regular contact with Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday. The countries are now blocking Qatar's access to their airspace and blocking its ships, isolating the small, energy-rich nation. Its foreign minister has struck a defiant tone in interviews, even after anxious residents emptied grocery stores in its capital, Doha, while Saudi Arabia blocked trucks carrying food from entering the country.

He said Qatar has given the UAE and Saudi no choice but to close off to it.

Pinto said that the rift would mostly affect Saudi and United Arab Emirates (UAE) exports and re-exports to Qatar, including food and basic goods. They alleged Qatar funds terror groups.

The nation's flag carrier Qatar Airways now flies increasingly over Iran and Turkey after being blocked elsewhere in the Middle East.

Attorney-General Counsellor Dr Hamad Saif Al Shamsi announced that the UAE has taken a firm stance against Qatar's hostile.

The Persian Gulf countries have ordered their citizens out of Qatar and gave Qataris overseas 14 days to return home.

Taiwan's Evergreen and Hong Kong's OOCL said on Wednesday they had suspended shipping services to Qatar after Arab countries severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf state and imposed port restrictions this week.

Qatari sympathizers will now be facing a jail term up to 15 years and be slapped with a fine not less than half a million dirhams.

The embassy in Abu Dhabi posted the warning on its Facebook wall, saying the UAE government has announced a ban on comments or posts about the diplomatic crisis on social media. FBI agents are assisting Qatar in its investigation, said Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar's ambassador to the U.S. "I think the Americans would choose to side with Saudi Arabia over any other country in the region".

  • Leroy Wright