UAE orders arrest following naming of dead soldiers

UAE orders arrest following naming of dead soldiers
Emirati authorities issue an arrest warrant following the circulation of a list purporting to contain the names of UAE soldiers killed in Yemen last week.
2 min read
07 September, 2015
Funeral for two of the Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen [AFP]

Prosecuting authorities in the United Arab Emirates have issued an arrest warrant for the person thought to be responsible for publishing a list of the names of 45 Emirati soldiers killed in a rocket attack by rebels in Yemen last week.

The list was widely circulated on social media and included the names of students, sparking panic among the families of the named soldiers.

Ali Al Buloushi, the Abu Dhabi Attorney General, said that anyone who started a rumour or spread false information, or any information that aimed to "weaken the moral spirit of the people", would be prosecuted.

Under a controversial "cybercrimes law", those found guilty of spreading rumours, "damaging social peace and public order" and endangering "national peace" can face imprisonment and a fine.

"As far as information on the servicemen is concerned, the General Command of the Armed Forces is the exclusive source of information and statement," Al Buloushi said.

Following the deaths of the soldiers, three days of mourning were announced in the country and flags were flown at half-mast.

The UAE, close ally of the West, has been playing a leading role in the Saudi-lead coalition strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

During the conflict, the UAE has now sustained the heaviest losses during the conflict since the country's founding in 1971.

Fighters from both sides of the conflict in the Yemeni conflict have been accused of 'serious abuses' against civilians.