What can I do about the online harassment and defamation by the person who lives
Posted by Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants on November 17th, 2021
The UAE has taken into account the high risk posed by social media and other online platforms in defamatory matters and its wider impact on the public. There are strict laws in effect for defamation cases involving social media elements and online acts such as trolling or cyberbullying. This is especially so because social media and other online platforms pose a very high risk in defamatory matters because the underlying technology allows for the same to be quickly disseminated and shared amongst a multitude of people. The UAE laws particularly deals with defamatory action via an online medium to be same as if the defamation was committed through the printed medium of newspapers, magazines etc.
Article 20 of the Federal Decree by Law No. 5 of 2012 on Combating Cyber Crimes and its amendments (“Cyber Crimes Law”) states that, “Without prejudice to the provisions of slander crime prescribed in Islamic Sharia, any person who insults a third party or has attributed to him an incident that may make him subject to punishment or contempt by a third party, by using an Information Network or an Information Technology Tool shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine not less than (AED 250,000) and not exceeding (AED500,000) or by any of these punishments.
If the insult or slander took place against a public employee or a person assigned to public service by occasion or because of performing his work, this should be considered an aggravating circumstance of the crime.”
Defamation is often the core element to cyber-crime or trolling incidents, and the same constitutes a criminal offence under the UAE laws. Article 372 Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 and its amendments (The UAE Penal Code) states that “Whoever attributes to another person, by any means of publicity, an incident which makes him liable to punishment or contempt, shall be punished by detention for a period not exceeding two years or by a fine not exceeding Dh20,000”.
Cyberbullying can be defined as the practice of using electronic communication to bully a person, which could be by sending messages which are of a threatening or intimidating nature. Instances that can be considered as cyberbullying includes posting embarrassing photos of someone on social media or spreading lies about someone’s; even impersonating someone and sending means messages in their name to others. Reports show that children are often easy prey for cyberbullying, and hence it is even more critical that strict laws exist to condone such acts.
These laws are part of the UAE efforts to curb online defamation and cyberbullying practices and immediate steps can be taken by the victim to launch a police complaint including a cybercrimes complaint.
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About the AuthorAl Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants
Joined: February 3rd, 2021
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