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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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14 injured after 12 coaches of train derail in India

The train was going to Delhi when the incident occurred. Twelve coaches of the Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express derailed near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh early on Saturday, injuring at least 14 people, railway officials said. The train was going to New Delhi when the incident occurred near Rooma railway station – about 20 km from…

14 injured after 12 coaches of train derail in India

The train was going to Delhi when the incident occurred.

Twelve coaches of the Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express derailed near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh early on Saturday, injuring at least 14 people, railway officials said.

The train was going to New Delhi when the incident occurred near Rooma railway station – about 20 km from here – in Kanpur Nagar district around 12.50 am. Four out of the 12 derailed Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches have overturned, North Central Railway public relations officer Amit Malviya said.
Fourteen people were injured and three of them were admitted to a hospital. The coaches that derailed are: S8, S9, B1-B5, A1, A2, HA1, pantry car and an SLR (seating cum luggage rake), according to a railway statement.

Kanpur: Morning visuals from the spot where 12 coaches of Poorva Express, plying from Howrah to New Delhi, derailed near Rooma village at around 1 am today. No casualties reported. pic.twitter.com/sFw0jZvVib
– ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 20, 2019

The district magistrate, senior superintendent of police and other senior officials reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation, the officials said.
“The administration, police and the locals, who were the first responders, have done an wonderful job by rushing the victims to hospitals in a short span of time after a such a major accident,” a National Disaster Response Force official told reporters.
Recounting the incident, a passenger said there was a loud sound and everyone fell off their seats. Another passenger said he got out of the window of the train after the accident.
The railways have issued helpline numbers: 1072, 9454403738, 9454401463, 9454401075, 9454400384 and 0512-23333111/112/113.
It has diverted and cancelled a number of trains. Efforts are on to resume the operations in the line, the statement said.
The passengers were brought to the Kanpur Central railway station, from where they left for New Delhi in a special train at 5.45 am, it added.

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Egyptians vote in referendum to extend Sisi’s rule

Some 55 million of Egypt’s nearly 100 million population are eligible to cast votes in the referendum. Egyptians start voting Saturday in a referendum that aims to cement the rule of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the former coup leader presenting himself as a rock of stability in a turbulent region. Despite protests from rights…

Egyptians vote in referendum to extend Sisi’s rule

Some 55 million of Egypt’s nearly 100 million population are eligible to cast votes in the referendum.

Egyptians start voting Saturday in a referendum that aims to cement the rule of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the former coup leader presenting himself as a rock of stability in a turbulent region.

Despite protests from rights groups, the three-day plebiscite is expected to approve sweeping constitutional changes that will extend Sisi’s term until at least 2024 in the Arab world’s largest state.

Beyond that, the amendments would allow Sisi, 64, to run for another six-year term while boosting his control over the judiciary and giving the military even greater influence in political life.

The referendum bucks the trend of the region’s mini-Arab Spring, in which mass pro-democracy protests this month swept away veteran presidents in Algeria and Sudan.

Sisi made his grab for power in the turbulent years after the original Arab Spring protests of 2011 toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak, who was followed in office by Mohamed Mursi.

Sisi overthrew Mursi in 2013 and the following year won his first term as president. He was re-elected in March 2018 with more than 97 per cent of the vote after standing virtually unopposed.

International observers slammed both elections while Sisi’s government has been widely criticised for sweeping repression of its opponents.

Human Rights Watch charged the constitutional amendments aim to strengthen Sisi’s “authoritarian rule”, while Amnesty said that parliament, having already backed the changes, had shown a “complete disregard for human rights”.

Some 55 million of Egypt’s nearly 100 million population are eligible to cast votes in the referendum, which will be held over three days starting on Saturday.

For the past few weeks, Egypt’s streets have been awash in banners and billboards urging citizens to “do the right thing” and vote “Yes”, while popular folk singers have also exhorted voters to go to the ballot box.

A muted “No” campaign mounted from the diaspora and online has been thoroughly muzzled as authorities have blocked over 30,000 internet domains.

Despite the deep concerns of rights groups, Sisi has earned the support of many Egyptians and some Western powers by presenting himself as a bulwark against Islamist militancy and turmoil at a time when fighting again rages in neighbouring Libya.

Many voters, such as retired banker Ramez Raouf, view Sisi as a champion of stability.

“Look, I am against a few of the changes such as extending the president’s terms … but I am still going to vote ‘yes’ anyway,” Raouf, 63, told AFP.

When asked why, he said “because the military will protect the civilian nature of the state, and that’s important to me”.

Parliament has already voted overwhelmingly this week to approve the changes, including extending presidential terms from four to six years.

The referendum also proposes other changes to the five-year-old constitution, among them the creation of a second parliamentary chamber and a quota ensuring at least 25 percent of MPs are women.

Think-tank the Soufan Center said the main effect of the referendum would be to “solidify Sisi’s grip on the Egyptian political regime” in a country that “has become even more autocratic than it was under Mubarak”.

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More than 1,000 millionaires flocked to UAE in 2018: Report

The number of affluent migrants in the UAE rose by two per cent in 2018, compared to the previous year. Dubai attracted more than 1,000 millionaires from outside the country, surpassing major cities like Los Angeles, Melbourne, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Sydney, according to the ‘Global Wealth Migration Report’ for 2019, developed recently…

More than 1,000 millionaires flocked to UAE in 2018: Report

The number of affluent migrants in the UAE rose by two per cent in 2018, compared to the previous year.

Dubai attracted more than 1,000 millionaires from outside the country, surpassing major cities like Los Angeles, Melbourne, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Sydney, according to the ‘Global Wealth Migration Report’ for 2019, developed recently by AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth.

The report described Dubai as the most prominent financial centre in the Middle East, and one of the safest cities in the region as well as a popular destination for High-Net-Worth-Individuals (HNWIs) and wealthy expatriates.

It also said that Dubai is an example of the power that business incentives have in encouraging business formation.

Approximately 2,000 HNWIs, each with at least $1 million worth of net assets, moved into the UAE in 2018, boosting the local economy. The number of affluent migrants in the UAE rose by two per cent in 2018, compared to the previous year, according to the report.

The 2019 ‘Global Wealth Migration Report’ said that global wealth migration saw an acceleration in 2018. Approximately 108,000 millionaires (HNWIs) migrated in 2018, compared to 95,000 in 2017. China saw a mass exodus of 15,000 millionaires in 2018, the most significant of any country in the world, followed by Russia, which saw an exodus of about 7000 millionaires. India saw an exodus of 5000 millionaires, while Turkey saw 4000, and France and the United Kingdom 3000 millionaires each.

The report reviewed the major factors that led to HNWIs moving outside their country to find a home that meets their needs. Key elements driving their relocation included security and safety, modern lifestyle, high standards of living, better educational opportunities and healthcare.

Driven by its success as a focal point for global trade, and an important transportation hub, Dubai has built a global reputation as a city with a highly developed infrastructure that boasts world-class standards in every sector. Based on an ethos of peaceful coexistence and tolerance, the UAE has become a worldwide model for harmony between people of different religions and ethnicities.

The country is home to people of over 200 nationalities. Its strong legislative framework provides high levels of safety and security while its exceptional infrastructure provides high-quality tourism facilities, service levels and entertainment offerings.

The city offers many advantages that make it a haven for the world’s wealthy. Millionaires flock to the emirate due to a range of exceptional business incentives, robust foreign trade and international connectivity. Dubai attracted over 16 million tourists in 2018 and has the ambitious target of welcoming 25 million tourists by 2025.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has retained its position as the world’s busiest airport with the number of travellers passing through its terminals hitting nearly 90 million last year, up by one per cent from the previous year. Dubai International has been crowned as the world’s busiest hub for international travel for a few years now since outranking London Heathrow in 2014.

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