Year in jail, Dh500,000 fine for Saudi online offence

Penalty part of new anti IT-crime

People found guilty of insulting others through social networks could be jailed one year and fined SR500,000 (Dh500,000) in Saudi Arabia, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The penalty is specified within a new law on combating information technology crime and offences through the internet and social media network, ‘Sabq’ Arabic language daily said, quoting well-known Saudi lawyer and legal adviser Khalid Abu Rashid.

“Unfortunately, many people do not know this penalty.

“They have read about penalties against Twitter offences and they think that other media networks are not included in the law,” Rashid said.

“The law covers all media networks including WhatsApp. Article 3 in the new law includes jail term of up to one year and SR500,000 fine for those found guilty of offending or insulting others through these networks.”

He said victims can report offences to the Interior Ministry through its website and that they must present a copy of the offending message or tweet.

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