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Man jailed for insulting Prophet on Facebook

Defendant loses appeal in case of posting disparaging caricature of Prophet

Gulf News

Dubai: An employee lost his appeal and will be jailed for three months for deriding Islam by posting on Facebook a disparaging and mocking caricature of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).

An Indian worker overheard co-workers discussing that the 34-year-old Indian employee had posted a caricature mocking the Prophet on Facebook in September 2017.

After seeing the caricature’s screenshot, the worker took a copy of the disparaging image and complained to the police.

The complainant accompanied a police patrol to his workplace and guided them to the suspect who had posted the image on Facebook.

In December, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendant of deriding Islam and the Prophet and fined him Dh5,000. The accused appealed the verdict before the Appeal Court and sought to have his punishment reduced.

Presiding judge Saeed Salem Bin Sarm dismissed the defendant’s appeal and upheld his three-month jail term. The fine of Dh5,000 was also confirmed.

According to the appellate ruling, the accused, who pleaded not guilty, will be deported following the completion of his punishment.

The complainant said the defendant posted on his Facebook page a caricature portraying the Prophet in an inappropriate and compromising manner.

“My colleague, who had taken a screenshot of the defendant’s Facebook page on which the photo was posted, showed me the image. The image was a caricature of a man dressed in a turban and an Arabic traditional dress displayed in an inappropriate manner. The word Mohammad was written under that character. The photograph had connotations that the figure in the image was involved in indecent acts,” he said.

A policeman testified that the witness accompanied them to the workplace in Business Bay, from where the defendant was apprehended.

“We confiscated the phone that he had used to post the deriding image,” he said.

The defendant told prosecutors that he had shared the image on Facebook without knowing that its content derided the Prophet.

The appellate ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court.

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