Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is a basic human right pursuant to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued on December 10, 1948.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without any interference and gathering, receiving and disseminating news and ideas through any means without being restricted by geographical borders.

Freedom of expression and the right of the press to publish news is a constitutional and legal right guaranteed by Article (30) of the Constitution of the United Arab Emirates, the Article stipulate that:” Freedom of opinion and expression by verbally, writing, and other means of expression are guaranteed within the limits of the law. The right of the press to publish news is a constitutional and legal right guaranteed to it, provided that it does not abuse this right by exceeding the limits set by the law in order to preserve the rights of others. Articles (80 and 84) of Federal Law No. 15 of 1980 in the matter of press and publication impose a prohibition on publishing any false or fabricated news that is forged or falsely attributed to others, as well as prohibition of challenging the works of a public official or a person of public prosecution status or charged with public service, including insulting him. Article (79) of the same law that protects privacy and prohibits the publication of news, pictures, or comments related to the secrets of the private or family life of individuals, if it is true, its dissemination would offend the person handled by the publication.


Article 372 of the Penal Code provides for the punishment of any offence attributable to others by public means, including   publishing in a newspaper is a fact that would make it a place of punishment or contempt.

Article No. 373 stipulates that anyone who aims at another by means of publicity, including publishing in a newspaper, shall be punished for abusing, without including the attribution of a particular fact to others. This means that the journalist’s freedom and his right to publish news and comment on it, is governed by legal principles and rules for the necessity of preserving the rights of others by not attributing insulting and harmful facts to the reputation, honor, or professional or social status of one of them. The permissibility of publishing news in newspapers is conditional on the validity of the news, that it is of a social nature, it is presented objectively and well-intentioned to serve the public interest.