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Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal has upheld the decision to impose a fine of Dh300,000 against a social media influencer who was recently convicted of slander.

The Emirati man had posted a video on Instagram insulting an Emirati social media personality who goes by the name “Kashoona”.

The court also ordered for the video clip to be deleted, the defendant’s social media account be closed for two months, and the confiscation of his mobile phone which he used in posting the abusive online video. 

The court also ordered the defendant to pay Dh21,000 to the plaintiff as temporary civil compensation for the damages suffered.

The incident took place during last summer’s celebrations when Saudi Arabia permitted women to drive.

After Saudi Arabia announced its decision allowing women to drive, Kashoona participated in celebrations as the first Emirati woman to drive a car in Saudi Arabia. She was among a large number of celebrities from several countries who attended.

On June 26, court documents showed that the defendant recorded a video hurling abuse at the female socialite and posted it on his Instagram account.

The Dh300,000 fine was imposed on the defendant in accordance with Article 20, Law No.5 of 2012 on Combatting Cybercrimes, which states that cybercrimes shall be punishable either by imprisonment no more than three years and/or a fine of not less than 250,000 and not exceeding Dh500,000.

The law further stipulates various penalties for a number of other cybercrimes, including insulting religions and their rituals, slandering public officials, forging electronic official documents, sending or re-publishing pornographic materials, reproducing credit or debit card data, and obtaining secret pin codes or passwords.

What is Article 20?

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Article 20 of Law No.5, 2012 states:

“Without prejudice to the crime of slander determined by the Islamic Sharia, shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine not less than Dh250,000 and not in excess of Dh500,000 or either of these two penalties whoever insults or accuses another person of a matter of which he shall be subject to punishment or being held in contempt by others, by using a computer network or an information technology means.

“If a slander or insult is committed against a public official or servant in the course of or because of his work, this shall be considered an aggravating factor of the crime.”