Qatar detains Twitter users for slandering national female athlete

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Qatar’s public prosecution has recently detained an undisclosed number of Twitter users for launching a derogatory online attack against a national athlete who represented the nation in an international tournament. This action underscores Qatar’s strict laws concerning online slander, threats, and blackmail, which can result in severe fines and imprisonment.

Public Prosecutor Dr. Issa bin Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi issued the order of imprisonment following the athlete’s achievement in her sporting discipline. The decision aims to safeguard the welfare of Qatari citizens from harmful online behaviour. The order for imprisonment came as a consequence of the abuse levelled against the female sportsperson, who was targeted after achieving a significant feat for her country.

The statement issued by the authorities emphasises that Qatar is committed to enforcing punishments for actions deemed detrimental to public interests, or those that provoke racial discord, hatred, and conflict among members of society. Such actions, it warns, contravene social principles and values.

Under Qatari law, unauthorized posting of news, images, or videos relating to an individual or their family is a punishable offence, attracting fines up to 100,000 riyals and a potential three-year prison sentence. Slander, threats, bullying, and blackmail carry the same penalties.

Public reactions to this decision have been predominantly supportive, with many internet users commending the move.

While the details about the accused remain limited, further information is expected to emerge through forthcoming press releases from the public prosecution. As it stands, this recent incident underscores Qatar’s stern stance against online harassment, and its commitment to protecting its citizens from such harm.

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