Abu Dhabi: A national counselling centre was set up to guide and reform those convicted of terrorist crimes and ensure they have psychological, social and religious sessions with psychiatrists, social workers and preachers.

The National Counselling “Munasaha” Centre was established by a decree by the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The decree was published in the official gazette and takes effect immediately.

The centre will be affiliated to the Cabinet and headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

The Cabinet was authorised to set up branches in any other emirate.

The centre aims to guide and reform those who pose potential terrorist threat or are convicted of terrorist crimes.

It will also undertake the task of rehabilitation of the holders of terrorist or extremist or perverted thought, responding to their ideology and correcting their concepts.

It will contribute to spreading the concept of moderation and rejecting extremism, violence and terrorism.

The counselling centre will also aim at achieving the intellectual, psychological and social balance of the offenders who receive counselling with a view to reintegrating them into society.

It will work to highlight the role played by the UAE to fight terrorism and address the terrorist or extremist or perverted thought.

Persons found to be posing a terrorist threat will be ordered to serve a time at the counselling centre based on a ruling from the competent court.

Counselling programmes

The Public Prosecutor may also order those convicted of terrorist crimes and holding of terrorist or extremist ideology to enroll to the counselling programmes carried out at the prisons where they serve their terms.

Those who hold terrorist or extremist ideology may voluntarily sign up to the counselling programmes on their own or by their custodians and the period of counselling will be determined by a report from the centre.

In all cases, the continuation of the counselling programme and its termination shall be by a decision of the Public Prosecutor and in coordination with the competent authority.

The counselling centre will submit a quarterly report about those who serve a counselling time showing the need for continuation or termination of the counselling programme. Those subject to counselling programmes can only be released by a decision by the Public Prosecution.

All information related to the centre or provided by the relevant authorities is confidential and none of its employees may inform any person or public or private entity of it, disclose or use it for any purpose other than those specified by the centre’s regulations or what the investigation and trial authorities require.

The provisions regarding “counselling centre” or “Munasaha Centre” are first stipulated in articles 1, 40, 48 and 66 of the Federal Law no. (7) of 2014 on Combating Terrorism Offences.