Abu Dhabi: A series of abusive social media messages are set to cost a young man Dh270,000 in fines and moral damages.
The defendant had sent the abusive messages over WhatsApp and Facebook to his cousin — a young woman — who filed charges against him. The Court of First Instance last year ordered the defendant to pay Dh250,000 in fines, in keeping with Federal Law No 5 of 2012 on cybercrimes. This verdict has now been upheld by the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals, with Dh20,000 to be additionally paid as moral damages.
According to court records, the defendant had called the young woman ‘disrespectful’, and had asked her to behave herself. The defendant claimed that he had not been commenting on her character, and that the young lady had been impolite to him as well.
In the UAE, abusive language delivered via online platforms — including WhatsApp — is considered a cybercrime, and is punishable by imprisonment, a fine not less than Dh250,000 and not in excess of Dh500,000, or both.