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Dh250,000 fine, jail for defaming someone on social media in UAE

If the abuse is published in any newspaper or printed media, it shall be considered an aggravated case. Q1-I am working in a mainland company based in the emirate of Dubai and am aware that defaming someone in the UAE is a criminal offence. One of my acquaintances has been posting negative contents about me…

Dh250,000 fine, jail for defaming someone on social media in UAE

If the abuse is published in any newspaper or printed media, it shall be considered an aggravated case.

Q1-I am working in a mainland company based in the emirate of Dubai and am aware that defaming someone in the UAE is a criminal offence. One of my acquaintances has been posting negative contents about me on social media and I can confirm that these are blatant lies. Some of my friends are messaging me and checking with me the veracity of the contents posted by the acquaintance. How can I get the person to stop it?

Answer:

It should be understood that defaming an individual on social media is a criminal offence in the UAE. This is in accordance with Article 373 of the Federal Law No.3 of 1987 of UAE on issuance of the Penal Code (the ‘Penal Law’), which states, “Detention for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding Dh10,000 shall be imposed on anyone who, by any means of publicity, disgraces the honour or the modesty of another person without attributing any particular act to the defamed party.

Detention for a period not exceeding two years and a fine not exceeding Dh20,000 or either of these two penalties, shall apply if a public official or one who is in charge of a public service has been abused during, because of, or while performing his duty; if the abuse affects the honour or injures the reputation of families; or if it is noticed that it is intended to achieve an illegal purpose.

However, if the abuse is published in any newspaper or printed media, it shall be considered an aggravated case.”

Based on the aforementioned provision of law, defamatory messages circulated in social media can be printed and therefore, such messages may be considered as an aggravated crime.

Further, your acquaintance may also be held responsible if such defamatory messages are transmitted using telephone (mobile phone). This is in accordance with Article 374 of the Penal Law of the UAE, which states, “Punishment by detention for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding six months or by fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall apply if slander or abuse is transmitted by telephone, or face to face with the victim and in the presence of a third party.”

In continuance, it should be understood that in the UAE, defaming any individual through computer network or electronic means is a crime under the Cyber Law of the country. This is in accordance with Article 21 of the Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Combating Cybercrimes (the ‘Cyber Law’), which states, “…Shall also be punished by imprisonment for a period of at least one year and a fine not less than Dh2,50,000 and not in excess of Dh5,00,000 or either of these two penalties whoever uses an electronic information system or any information technology means for amending or processing a record, photo or scene for the purpose of defamation of or offending another person or for attacking or invading his privacy.”

You may lodge a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor or the police station having jurisdiction against the accused. The public prosecutor will require Arabic translation of the documentary evidence you will provide with your complaint such as messages posted by the accused against you in the social media platform. The public prosecutor will investigate the compliant and register a criminal case against the accused, if the public prosecutor is satisfied that a crime has been committed by the person.

Know the law

Punishment by detention for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding six months or by fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall apply if slander or abuse is transmitted by telephone (mobile phone), or face to face with the victim and in the presence of a third party.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

 

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Video: Building partially breaks apart, comes crashing down

The 18-second clip shows a high-rise breaking apart from the front as part of a controlled demolition. A video of a building partly breaking apart and crashing down has gone viral online. The 18-second clip shows a high-rise breaking apart from the front and crashing down on the ground below. The video was shared by…

Video: Building partially breaks apart, comes crashing down

The 18-second clip shows a high-rise breaking apart from the front as part of a controlled demolition.

A video of a building partly breaking apart and crashing down has gone viral online.
The 18-second clip shows a high-rise breaking apart from the front and crashing down on the ground below.
The video was shared by several Chinese social media organisations, which suggested that it was a severe accident that had resulted in several injuries.
However, the video is that of a controlled demolition, and there have been no injuries at all, People’s Daily China later said.

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Why more women are signing up for FNC elections

The FNC is the country’s top body that sanctions laws and policies. More Emirati women are signing up for the Federal National Council (FNC) elections with the anticipation of winning. The positive response follows the directive issued by the President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, last year that 50 per cent of…

Why more women are signing up for FNC elections

The FNC is the country’s top body that sanctions laws and policies.

More Emirati women are signing up for the Federal National Council (FNC) elections with the anticipation of winning.

The positive response follows the directive issued by the President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, last year that 50 per cent of the council should be female in the forthcoming term. Registration for candidates aspiring to contest for the 40-member FNC elections scheduled for October 5, began on August 18 across the country.

And like on the first day of registration, more Emirati women showed up at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry registration centre on Monday (August 19) to sign up and contest for the parliamentary seats.

“With women set to make up half of the next FNC, I am hopeful to be among those members,” Salma Al Ketbi, 42, an Abu Dhabi mother of four who holds a masters degree in engineering management, told Khaleej Times after signing up to enroll in the upcoming elections.

“I am excited about contesting in these elections and I am keen on winning. With vast experience in engineering and management, I feel I should serve my country on the national level and participate in the country’s decision.”

Al Ketbi, a senior stock engineer at Adnoc said it is very important that women in the UAE are empowered politically and encouraged more women to sign up for the elections.

Meanwhile, media practitioner Fatima Al Award Al Darmaki, 35, said she is keen on representing Abu Dhabi in the next legislative cycle because the FNC plays a vital role in the future direction of the nation. “Being a journalist, I have been a voice for the voiceless for many years,” said Al Darmaki, a senior presenter for local news at Abu Dhabi TV.

“Through my job, I have highlighted problems affecting many people in our community including women and children which were later addressed by authorities. I am keen on taking this on to the FNC also take part in making the country’s laws.”

Retired Major-General, Nasir Salim Al Nuaimi, a former police officer with the Abu Dhabi Police, who has registered for the forthcoming elections, said that as a senior citizen with lots of knowledge and experience, being a legislator is fulfilling.

“The FNC is the country’s top body that sanctions laws and policies. As a senior citizen and a former cop, I am very well aware of the problems affecting our people and I want them addressed on the floor of the house,” said Al Nuaimi. “I am also keen on taking part in discussions and making of laws governing our nation.”

The registration for the FNC will run until Thursday, August 22.

According to the National Election Committee, the FNC candidates must be 25 years old and be a “knowledgeable and literary person of sound reputation. Additionally, they must be on the list of 330,000 citizens eligible to vote.

More candidates expected in next 3 days: Minister

During his tour of the candidates registration centre at Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention; Minister of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs; and chairman of the National Election Committee, said registration across the country is going smoothly and more Emirati candidates are expected to turn up for signing up for elections in the remaining three days.

“We are witnessing a big number of candidates of all ages registering to vie for FNC seats. We urge all people to participate in the electoral process,” Al Owais told members of the Press.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Daesh claimed the terror act that claimed at least 63 lives. The UAE has strongly condemned the terrorist attack that targeted a wedding in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, said in a statement today that it condemns in the “strongest terms” the terrorist attack which took place…

UAE condemns ‘cowardly’ Kabul wedding attack

Daesh claimed the terror act that claimed at least 63 lives.

The UAE has strongly condemned the terrorist attack that targeted a wedding in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, said in a statement today that it condemns in the “strongest terms” the terrorist attack which took place on Saturday, and that the UAE reaffirms its support to the Afghan government as it confronts the menace of terrorism.

Also read: UAE condemns Saudi oil field drone attack

“This cowardly attack claimed by Daesh on a civilian gathering is a solemn reminder of the complex challenges faced by the Afghan government as it works to enter a new phase of stability and security,” the ministry continued.

It added, “Confronting the scourge of terrorism is a shared responsibility among states in pursuit of a more peaceful future, and the UAE stands resolutely with its Afghan partners in this regard.”

This unacceptable loss of life underlines the importance of multilateral efforts to promote a comprehensive peace agreement that will degrade the ability of transnational terror groups to operate in Afghanistan, the UAE foreign ministry noted.

The UAE extends its sincere condolences to the families of victims and wishes a prompt recovery to those injured in the attack, it concluded.

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