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24 July 2024

Man's social media post lands him in court

Police discovered files from accused's phone. (Shutterstock)

By Mohammed El Sadafy

A 41-year-old defendant, identified as SG, Indian, is accused of using social network sites to insult Islam and the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Dubai Criminal Court heard.

Dubai Police had received information from SMF, an Indian  salesman, that he received on his mobile on July 6, 2014 at 5am a text message via WhatsApp that someone was insulting Islam on Facebook.

He added in his report that the WhatsApp message comprised a copy of the abusive expressions which the accused, SG, used against the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and Islam.

Dubai Police arrested the accused who admitted that he used social network, particularly Facebook, to insult the Prophet and Islam through an abusive article.

The accused admitted before the police that he did so after he had watched a video about the war in Iraq.

He had used his iPhone for the purpose.

The police sent his phone to the laboratory and discovered 18 files. Among them were three photos used on Facebook accounts.

The files also contained comments in a foreign language and photos circulated via WhatsApp.

Forensic department also discovered a chat conversation related to the case.

Public Prosecution sought the court to subject the accused to a harsh punishment according to the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure No 35 of 1992 and its amendments of the Law No 29 of 2005 and Law No 35 of 2006.

The UAE Law No (5) of 2012 stipulates those who use networks for insulting (religions) or Islamic religion to be punished with either imprisonment or a fine of Dh250,000 or both of these.

Also, in case of insulting the Almighty or the Prophets, the accused will be sentenced to not more than seven years in prison.