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Dubai: Two lovers, who were convicted of exchanging their indecent photos on Snapchat and WhatsApp, are challenging a court order banning them from using social media platforms for one year.

The Arab couple, in their 30s, fell in love at the workplace and began an affair during which they exchanged dozens of indecent photos on their smart phones in 2017.

Legal procedures were taken up against the couple when an informant alerted the authorities that the woman’s indecent photos had been uploaded and circulated via Snapchat.

The appellate court reduced the Dh250,000 fine to Dh25,000 and upheld the decision banning the defendants from using social media platforms for a year.

The Dubai Misdemeanours Court fined the couple Dh250,000 each and banned them from using social media networks for one year.

According to the primary ruling, the court also ordered that all the nude photos and indecent videos be erased.

The defendants appealed the primary judgements before the Dubai Appeal Court where they pleaded not guilty and asked to have their convictions overturned.

The defendants had exchanged photos that exposed, according to records, their private parts and faces as well.

A police lieutenant testified that when the woman was questioned she admitted that the nude woman in the photos was her and that she had sent it to her lover via Snapchat.

She also admitting to police interrogators that she had sent her nude photos and naked videos to him via Snapchat.

The male defendant refuted the charges before the police and contended that he never sent his nude photos to the woman he was in a love with.

During prosecution questioning, the woman denied her charges and was quoted as saying that she sent her naked photos to the other defendant since they had an affair.

Meanwhile, the male defendant denied sending any photos and alleged that his accomplice could’ve discretely stolen his nude images and sent them to herself.

He told prosecutors that he had taken photos of his own body to see the physical changes due to his bodybuilding exercise.

The couple pleaded innocent before the appellate court and argued that law enforcement procedures were carried out illegally against them.

The appellate court reduced the Dh250,000 fine to Dh25,000 and upheld the decision banning the defendants from using social media platforms for a year.

Gulf News has learnt that the defendants have appealed their appellate ruling before the Dubai Cassation Court and are seeking to overturn their convictions and have the fines cancelled and the ban of using social media removed.

What the cybercrime law says

■ Federal Law No 5 issued in 2012 criminalises activities by any person, who creates or runs any electronic site to send, transmit, publish or promote online any pornographic material or indecent acts.

■ It also imposes punishment on any person for attempting to, and for helping others to, seduce others and solicit prostitution and to urge, induce or entice another person to engage in prostitution.

■ According to article 17, a suspect who sends or broadcasts photos/videos of pornographic nature via the telecom system could be jailed up to three years and/or fined between Dh250,000 and Dh500,000. 

■ According to article 41, a court can order that the devices used to transmit or broadcast pornographic material be confiscated and that all indecent material be deleted from the media/website/portal. 

■ A judge has the discretion to issue an order banning/deleting the website or portal in question. 

■ A judge could also hand out a lenient punishment as per the court’s discretion and based on the circumstances of a case.