UAE Woman Faces Prosecution for Social Media Abuse

The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution, UAE has opened an investigation and taken legal action against an Arab woman who posted a video on social media in which she abused a participant at the recent Abu Dhabi Book Fair.

The prosecution filed charges against the woman for instigating public opinion and violating privacy via social media. The suspect allegedly verbally assaulted the participants by sharing a live-streaming video on social media without the victim’s permission.

The video, which was shared on social media, depicted the suspect verbally assaulting the victim and blaming their presence at public events on a prior conviction outside the country.

According to the prosecution, UAE law protects the rights of all individuals and does not tolerate any form of encroachment, intrusion, or attempt to disrupt public order.

According to article 44 of Federal Law No. 34 of 2021 on Combating Rumours and Cybercrimes, anyone who uses an information network, electronic information system, or any information technology means with the intent of invading a person’s privacy, personal or family life without consent is a punishable offense. It includes the use of any of the following ways: eavesdropping, intercepting, recording, transmitting, or disclosing conversations, communications, and audio or visual materials.

Here is the complete list of sanctions and penalties for social media violations:

  • One year in prison and a Dh100, 000 fine for information that agitates public opinion, causes panic or damages national security and affairs.
  • Contradictory false news, rumors, or misleading or inaccurate information carries a one-year prison sentence and a Dh100, 000 fine.
  • False news during pandemics, emergencies, or crises carries a two-year penitentiary sentence and a Dh200, 000 fine.
  • Photos or videos of other persons without their consent are punishable by six months in detention and a fine between Dh150,000 and Dh500,000
  • Photos or recordings of accident or crisis victims, whether deceased or injured, are punishable by imprisonment for six months and/or a fine of Dh150, 000-Dh500, 000.
  • Even if true, comments, news, photos, or information about a person that may cause damage are punishable by imprisonment for six months and/or a fine of Dh150, 000-Dh500, 000.
  • Inaccurate or misleading advertisements are punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine ranging from Dh20, 000 to Dh500, 000.
  • Information or data that disparages a foreign nation is punishable by six months in detention and/or a fine of Dh100, 000 to Dh500, 000.
  • Pornography or indecent content — imprisonment and/or a fine between Dh250,000 and Dh500,000
  • Content that contains blasphemy and defames religions is punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine of Dh250, 000 to Dh1 million.
  • Content for soliciting contributions is punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine between Dh200, 000 and Dh500, 000.
  • Content promoting unlicensed medical products is punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine.

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