Qatar is gonna change anti-terror legislation amid Gulf crisis

Qatar on Thursday announced amendments to its anti-terror legislation, one of the core issues underlying a hefty diplomatic conflict between Doha and its Gulf Arab neighbors.

The state news agency QNA reported that a royal decree issued by Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani set rules for defining terrorism, acts of terrorism and the financing of terrorism. It also created two national terrorism lists and established rules for including individuals and groups on each list, QNA said.

The legislative changes, which amend a 2004 anti-terrorism law, come after Qatar signed an accord with the United States to combat terror funding – an agreement that the Gulf nation’s neighbors, who accuse Doha of supporting terrorism, says does not go far enough.

Major political crisis

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt placed a boycott on the emirate on June 5 over the allegations.

They also imposed sanctions on Doha, as well as presenting a list of 13 demands that Qatar has so far refused to meet, calling them unrealistic. They include closing the broadcaster Al-Jazeera and reducing Doha’s diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival, Iran.

The political crisis, the worst to affect the region for years, erupted following the release of an alleged QNA report at the end of May in which Sheikh Tamim is quoted as having made positive comments about Iran and the militant Palestinian organization Hamas.

On Thursday, Qatar claimed that the report was fake and had been put on the QNA website by a hacker from the United Arab Emirates. The same account was given on Sunday in the newspaper “Washington Post,” which cited information from US intelligence sources.

The UAE has vehemently dismissed the Washington Post story as a fabrication.

Source: DW

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