Qatari government uses lies to jeopardise stability of nations: Egypt's SIS

MENA , Wednesday 14 Oct 2020

The Qatari regime has muzzled the Qatari people and deprived them from their inalienable right to freedom of expression through a bunch of brutal and oppressive laws, SIS said in its report

The logo of Egypt's State Information Service (SIS)

Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) stressed on Wednesday that the government of Qatar has created a sea of lies and used it to jeopardise the stability and security of many nations under the pretext of defending and propagating freedom of opinion and expression.

"Of course they mean freedom of opinion and expression to everyone except the people of Qatar. The Qatari regime has muzzled the Qatari people and deprived them of their inalienable right to freedom of expression through a bunch of brutal and oppressive laws," the SIS said in a report published Wednesday on its website. 

"Actually if these laws are applied to a Qatari citizen who attempts to emulate the conduct of Al Jazeera and its employees in his/her own country he/she would definitely spend a great many years in Jail," the report read. 

The SIS pointed out that such laws aim "to smother the voice of the helpless people of Qatar while their oppressive regime preaches freedom and democracy to other Nations and governments."

The report also states that "such behaviour by the Qatari regime can only be perceived as hypocritical to say the least."

The report tackled three laws that restrict freedom of opinion and expression, which are the Penal Code, the Cybercrime Law and the Printing and Publication Law.

"Article 115 of the penal code punishes those who spread false date or rumours concerning the Qatari State abroad with a 5-year prison sentence; and at times of war this penalty is doubled to 10 years in prison," the report highlighted. 

"This is quite ironic as Qatar offers itself as a platform for those who spread misinformation about their own countries, bearing in mind that most of the time they come from States that are at odds with Qatar and its irresponsible policies that threaten regional stability."

The report added that Article 122 of the penal code lands a 5-year prison sentence on those who provide any footage, maps, documents or any form of information regarding the situation in Qatar to a foreign country. 

"Indeed, this means that any Qatari correspondent to a foreign entity faces the danger of imprisonment at any moment under such conditions and again ironically Al Jazeera engages in the same activities criminalized by Qatari laws but against other nations," said the report. 

Also according to the report, Article 6 of the Cybercrimes Law says that anyone who establishes or administers a website to spread false news will be sentenced to 3 years in prison and pay a hefty fine of half a million riyals.

Also, Article 8 of the same law states that anyone who violates the societal traditions and principles through spreading fake news, footage or voice recordings shall be imprisoned for 3 years and will pay a fine of 100,000 riyals. 

The report also states that the Printing and Publication Law devoted its seventh Chapter to imposing penalties on journalists and press workers, and these penalties varied between freedom-depriving penalties, fines, shutting down institutions and confiscating publications.

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