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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Qatar mulls law promising jail for those caught ‘insulting’ its flag

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Those caught “showing disrespect” to Qatar’s flag could soon face a six-month jail term and a fine of up to QR100,000, reports Al Sharq.

A new law is being drafted that makes displaying a damaged flag, or one of the wrong color, material, size or shape an illegal act. 

The law, which has already received the Advisory Council’s approval, also states that the flag must be greeted as it’s raised.

The Peninsula translates:

Also, showing disrespect to the flag by lowering it atop a building or insulting it in any way would attract punitive clauses.

The announcement of the law comes just two weeks before National Day, during which both nationals and expats like to adorn their cars and homes with the flag. 

It’s not clear whether the reproduction of the flag on clothing, stickers, etc is addressed by the new legislation.

Other countries’ rules

A similar law is already in place in the UAE, with a Pakistani man being convicted in Dubai last year for displaying the UAE flag on his truck “in an offensive manner.”

Meanwhile, the UAE’s new cybercrime law also makes disrespecting the country’s flag online an illegal act

The Gulf region is not alone in having such laws.

Similar rules exist in India, for example, where until 2001, only government officials and government buildings were allowed to fly the flag, and it is illegal to print the flag’s image on certain clothing “below the waist,” such as underwear. 

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Ginger Brew

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