The UAE Federal Supreme Court Image Credit: Gulf News File

Abu Dhabi: A man had his 10-year jail sentence upheld by the State Security Court of the Federal Supreme Court, the court ruled Monday.

Ahmad Mansour Al Shehhi, 48, an Emirati, was convicted of seeking to damage the UAE’s reputation and the relationship of the country with its neighbours by publishing false reports and information on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. He was also fined Dh1 million.

The court, which turned down his appeal against the lower court’s ruling, ordered him to be under surveillance for three years upon his release.

The court confiscated his electronic devices and ordered him to pay all judicial costs.

The State Security Chamber of the Federal Appeal Court in Abu Dhabi found guilty of insulting the ‘status and prestige of the UAE and its symbols’, including its leaders.

He was also convicted of seeking to damage the relationship of the UAE with its neighbours by publishing false reports and information on social media.

The court, however, cleared him of conspiring with a terrorist organisation.

The prosecution charged Mansour with publishing false information seeking to damage the UAE’s reputation abroad. Mansoor had also been charged with cooperating with a terrorist organisation operating outside the country but was acquitted on this charge.

Mansoor was detained in March 2017 and accused of publishing false information and rumours online and “inciting hatred and defaming the country online”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement.

In 2011, the Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court sentenced him to three years in prison for insulting UAE leaders by delivering speeches and public lectures and posting false reports and information about the UAE that would harm the policies of the state, in addition to contacting international rights and political organisations working abroad. He did not serve that sentence, however, as he was pardoned by the UAE President.

He and four others — Nasser bin Ghaith, Fahad Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali Al Khamis and Ahmad Abdul Khaleq were accused and convicted of insulting the UAE and its leaders.

UAE cybercrimes law stipulates an imprisonment period of at least 10 years and not exceeding 25 years, and a fine not less than Dh2 million and not in excess of Dh4 million on whoever establishes, manages or runs a website or publishes information on the computer network or information technology means for the interest of a terrorist group or any unauthorised group, association, organisation, or body with the intent to facilitate communication with their leaders or members or attract new members, or to promote or praise their ideas, finance their activities or provide actual assistance thereof or for the purpose of publishing methods for manufacturing incendiary devices or explosives or any other devices used in terrorism acts.

Under the law, an imprisonment period not exceeding five years, and a fine not less than Dh500,000 and not in excess of Dh1 million will be handed down to whoever establishes, manages or runs a website or publishes information on the computer network or information technology means with the aim to incite hate.

For first-time offenders, the court may rule for the accused to be placed under electronic probation, and prevented from using information technology means during a period not exceeding the maximum penalty prescribed