Dubai: The recent amendments in the UAE Cybercrime Law include tough new measures to combat child pornography.
The new Federal Decree Law No 34 of 2021 introduced major amendments to Federal Law 5 of 2012 - the Cybercrime Law covering crimes committed online - including an article punishing anyone using or luring children to broadcast, prepare or send pornographic materials.
Lawyer Mohammed Al Najar told Gulf News that child pornography is strictly illegal in the UAE, but Article 35 of the new law will provide added protection for children in crimes that didn’t exist previously.
Up to Dh1 million fine
“Anyone who encourages, assists or lures a child to broadcast, produce or send porn materials online, shall be punished by minimum two years in jail and a fine between Dh250,000 to Dh1 million. The victim or the child shall not be prosecuted resulting from encouragement or deceiving,” said Al Najar.
He added that Emirati legislators highlighted the new crime in the new amendment to curb criminal activity targeting children to send them pornographic materials.
“The new amendment added more layers of protection to children. The law used the term ‘children’ rather than ‘juveniles’ which represent the Emirati legislators keenness to develop the legal system and provide more protection for children,” Al Najjar added.
Al Najar said that harsher punishment is implemented on anyone possessing pornography involving children via a computer network or any information technology means.
“Article 36 of the law punishes anyone possessing deliberately pornographic material involving children, with minimum six months in jail and a fine between Dh150,000 to Dh1 million.”
Such materials include photographs, recordings, drawings, or any actual, virtual or simulated sexual acts with anyone under the age of 18.
According to Article 33 of the new amendment, anyone who encourages or deceives or helps another to commit a ‘sin’ online shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine between Dh250,000 to Dh1 million, but if the victim was a child then the punishment will be jail for a minimum of five years and a fine of Dh1 million.
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Al Najar said Article 34 of the law was strict with anyone who creates, manages or supervise a website and broadcasts, posts, re-posts pornographic materials online.
“The punishment would be imprisonment and a fine between Dh250,000 to Dh500,000, but if the content involves children or to tempt children, then the punishment is one year in jail and a fine of Dh500,000,” added Al Najar.