UAE | Crime

4 jailed in Abu Dhabi on defamation charges after Twitter spat

Three Emirati men and a Palestinian woman will spend two weeks in prison pending investigations for misusing Twitter

  • By Iman Sherif, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 15:04 May 21, 2012
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution ordered the detention of four people on charges of defamation and tribal incitement through Twitter.

Three Emirati men and a Palestinian woman will spend two weeks in prison pending investigations for misusing Twitter.

A heated discussion on Twitter took place in April between the Palestinian woman and three Emirati men. The discussion turned into exchanging insults and offences and tribal instigation and accusation.

A member of a tribe that was subject to insults and disparagement filed a complaint with the Public Prosecution against the woman. The four defendants were detained for two weeks.

Serious consquences

An official from the Abu Dhabi Attorney-General's office issued a stern warning against taking the issue lightly. "Some do not realise the serious consequences of their conduct on social networks and chatrooms. Libel and vilification is punishable by law whether committed in the real world or in the virtual one," he said.

"Unveiling the identity of those who commit online violations or cyber crimes like hacking into others' e-mail accounts has become an extremely easy task and authorities can combat such conduct. Being unaware of the law is not at all a waiver of legal responsibility," he added.
 

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