Qatar’s Cabinet has approved a draft law that would, if passed, make it illegal to publicly insult the GCC flag, QNA reports.
Taking down, damaging or taking any action that expresses hatred or contempt of a flag of an international organization or institution, or the flag of any other regional organization or institution would also become a punishable offense.
The legislation modifies criminal Law No. 11 of 2004.
According to article 14 of that law, it is already illegal to publicly insult Qatar’s flag or a flag of a “non-hostile country,” with the penalty being a prison term of up to three years or a fine of up to QR15,000.
In recent years, Qatar’s government has taken several steps to ensure its national flag be treated with respect.
Two years ago ahead of National Day, then-Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani signed into law tough new rules about the flag.
Under that law, it became punishable to use the flag as a commercial trademark and in advertisements without formal permission from authorities; to display a damaged or discolored flag; or to change the flag or add photographs, text or designs to it.
Violators could face six months to three years in jail or a QR100,000 to QR200,000 fine.
The Cabinet also moved to add a new provision to the penal code that would make it punishable to claim to practice “quackery,” or witchcraft.
QNA reports that the practice, whether for free or for a fee, is punishable if people claim to do it to help others know the unseen, achieve a need or desire or prevent damage or inflict harm.
Other provisions in the new draft law would make it punishable to:
- Collect donations personally or via individuals, newspapers or companies or other means in a non-authorized capacity; and
- For a public servant to use his/her power to block the implementation of a ruling or order issued by a court or the attorney general 30 days after the date of being officially notified about implementation.
The term lengths of the punishments were not specified, and the amendments would still need the Emir’s approval before becoming law.
Happy national day?
1. Flags do not have feelings and what can be considered insulting is open to interpretation.
2. This is the type of law open to misuse. A way to punish your political enemies under a vague pretence of insulting a flag.
Developed countries shrug off people burning flags or saying rude things about that, as they know that is pointless position to take.
Free speech is eroded once more in Qatar.
Like this bit,
“According to article 14 of that law, it is already illegal to publicly insult Qatar’s flag or a flag of a “non-hostile country”
Can I have a list of hostile countries whose flags I can insult? I want to say, ooooh flag I hate you and your colours are pathetic. I might even make the flag cry if I am mean enough to it.
I got censored…. 🙁
Good thing or bad thing? :)))
I think in MIMH’s case it’s a bad thing for him
They came back….
Why are they punishing witchcraft when there is no such thing?
And not collecting donations? Is’nt that similar to a punishment to whoever uses Kickstarter?
They punish blasphemy as well and that’s not real either. I wonder if the santas at the hotels will get arrested for witchcraft.
hhmmmnn…. guess the authorities missed this one !!
Lets hope none of the Cuban Doctors like to practice Santeria that they are used to doing as part of religious culture, back home in Cuba.That could fall under this category.
There are 2 guys in a big GM car who troll the car parks asking for donations to an “orphanage” which I suspect is the last thing they’re donating to. Avoid.
Yuk, nothing more unsightly than aggressive, misplaced nationalism (and associated legislation) from young upstart nations…..are there any historical analogies we can invoke? hmmmmm
It is disappointing that a cartoon for kids has to make the most serious point but they are right. It is not about one poet getting 15 years for a poem, it is not about insulting flags, it’s about control. It’s about the government keeping you in your place, so they can keep theirs and everything that goes along with it. You have been warned.
…………..Because, you know, given the turmoil in the Middle East there is really nothing more useful to spend time legislating on.
Too disturbing for me too even comment..
Because insulting the GCC is what you do in your free time, right ?
I am sure you work for the website, because all of the sudden my comments needed to be revised. Oppressive techniques.