Supporters of a British-Australian man living in Dubai say he's been detained by police for promoting a charity trying to help Afghans.

Scott Richards' case appears to be the first involving a new law regulating charities in the emirate.

His supporters warned Friday that Dubai's regulations can be applied to anyone wanting to do good by donating to international causes or even talking about them online.

The Dubai Media Office didn't respond to a request for comment on Richards' case.

While liberal compared to other parts of the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates has strict laws governing speech and online conduct.

The Dubai charity decree also comes as Mideast nations face Western pressure to crackdown on charity donations that get funneled to regional extremist groups.