PFIF Warns: UAE Imposes Additional Restrictions On Public Freedoms

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PARIS – Paris Francophone Institute for Freedoms (PFIF) has warned of an official move in the United Arab Emirates to narrow the margin of academic freedom and scientific research in the country and impose additional restriction

PFIF criticized, in a press release, the issuance by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a federal decree-law no. (24) for 2018 amending some provisions of federal law no. (3) for 1987 on promulgation of the Penal Code.

The federal decree-law was published in the recent issue of the Federal Official Gazette .

The first article of the federal decree-law stipulates that the wording of articles 82, 201, 225, 234, 237 and 257 of the federal law no. (3) for 1987 on promulgation of the penal code will be changed.

According to article 2 of the federal decree-law, new paragraphs are added to articles 170, 225, 235, 236 and 280.

The federal decree-law was issued on September 23, 2018 and takes effect the following day it was published. The federal decree-law was published in the edition issued on October 7, 2018.

PFIF noted that the UAE’s new penal Act includes “military, political, economic, industrial, scientific, security, social security or other information” as confidential information that are hidden from the public except those who have the right to access it.

The Institute stressed that such an emphasis would further undermine freedoms in the UAE and freedom of expression, which is already deeply affected. Human rights organizations have called the UAE a “non-free” country and 120th out of 160 countries in the world.

PFIF called on the UAE to immediately reverse the amendments to its penal law and to seriously intervene to end the arbitrary restrictions imposed by Abu Dhabi government on public freedoms in contravention of relevant international laws and charters.

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