President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the Fifth Amendment to the Penal Code (Law no: 9/2014). The Bill was passed by the Parliament at the 39th sitting, on 16th November 2021.
The amendment bill includes the addition of section 124 to the Penal Code (Law no: 9/2014).
The bill, once ratified, will criminalize accusing or portraying a person as anti-Islamic based on the behavior or an opinion expressed by the person that does not contradict with the opinions of scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah Wal Jamaah. Accusing or portraying a Muslim as an apostate or a non-Muslim in public, unless the person has explicitly declared an expression amounting to kufr or has publicly proclaimed to be an apostate is also an offence.
The amendment further prohibits committing any acts of violence and the incitement of violence against individuals.
In addition, the amendment criminalizes any acts of violence and the incitement of violence towards individuals based on their ethnicity, birth country, political ideology or religion. However, the bill also stipulates that it has no reservations on delivering the verdicts of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
The amendment also adds two more clauses subsequent to section 617(a) 4. Section 617(a)5 of the amendment which prohibits insulting the religion of Islam, the Almighty Allah, the Holy Quran, the Prophet and Sunnah.
Following ratification, the Bill has been published in the Government Gazette and has come into effect from today.