The acts of slandering or swearing online are punishable offences in the UAE, and can see up to half a million dirhams in fines imposed on offenders.
The UAE Public Prosecution issued a warning against such acts on its social media platforms on Tuesday, and said that some offenders can even be jailed.
Fines and jail
“Whoever swears at others, or attributes thereto an incident that would make another person subject to punishment or disdain by others using an information network, a means of information technology, or an information system shall be sentenced to imprisonment and/or fined a monetary penalty of not less than Dh250,000 and not more than Dh500,000, the Public Prosecution said.
The penalties are higher if the offences are directed against a public employee or task.
“If the [acts] are committed against a public employee, or a person assigned to perform a public service, or on the occasion of his performance of a [public task], this shall constitute a circumstance calling for the application of a heavier punishment for the crime,” the Public Proseution added.
The penalties are outlines in Article 43 of the Federal Decree — Law No 34 of 2021 for Combating e-Crimes and Rumours. Law No 34 of 2021 also penalises other online offences, including child pornography, bribery and hacking.