Dubai: A veteran teacher has been accused of inciting sectarian strife by texting offensive WhatsApp messages to her uncle in which she cursed him and a caliph.
The 53-year-old Emirati teacher allegedly sent WhatsApp messages to her maternal uncle [who is from a different sect] that contained words of an offensive nature between November 2015 and January 2016.
She also called her uncle names, according to records, as she accused him of being a forger, unfair, unmanly, a cheater and others.
Believed to be among the first few cases of the kind to surface at the Dubai Courts since ratification of the Hate Law in 2015, prosecutors have asked the Dubai Court of First Instance to implement the toughest punishment applicable.
The suspect, who pleaded guilty before presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi on Sunday, could face a minimum five years in jail and/or a fine that ranges between Dh500,000 and Dh1 million.
“Yes, I did. I cursed him and cursed the caliph,” contended the suspect.
“Is the claimant your uncle?” the judge asked the suspect.
“They say so,” she replied in a loud and edgy tone.
According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said the teacher abused WhatsApp to curse her uncle and offend him. She also incited sectarian strife when she belittled her uncle and slandered him and the caliph via a WhatsApp message as well.
Requesting the court’s permission to speak, the 53-year-old woman [whose nephew walked her to stand before the three-judge bench]: “I said what was mentioned because that is his real character. I said that because that’s exactly what and who he is! I am an educationist and I have been teaching for 29 years … several generations graduated during my tenure. Probably some of you here graduated because of me. This case surfaced due to an inheritance disagreement between us. I used to give him money and helped him financially … this is a void accusation. It happened, yes, but after he insulted me and provoked me. He became so greedy and never asked about me. I suffer from cancer and he never checked on me … I haven’t seen him in more than four years …”
Presiding judge Al Shamsi then interrupted her and asked if she had cursed her uncle and the caliph.
“Yes, I did. I cursed them. Why are you defending …” said the suspect before the she was forced to stop talking.
The judge called her name loudly and immediately refrained her from continuing what she had started to say.
“Now what is your demand? Do you want to hire a lawyer to defend you or a judgement,” the judge asked her.
The suspect asked for a judgement.
The 60-year-old Emirati uncle claimed to prosecutors that his niece cursed him and maligned him as well via WhatsApp.
“She texted me on WhatsApp messages that were full of hatred and incite sectarianism and create sectarian strife among members of the public,” the uncle testified to prosecutors.
Presiding judge Al Shamsi will hand out a ruling on April 27.