عقوبة التحرش الإلكتروني في الإمارات - How to Deal with Online Harassment

How to Deal with Online Harassment in UAE

What constitutes online harassment? How can its victims file a complaint and confront it without fear or hesitation? And how does the law protect victims of online harassment in the United Arab Emirates? Follow this article to find out all the answers.

What is Online harassment in UAE law?

The UAE law distinguishes various behaviors that fall under harassment, which are intended to annoy individuals or engage in acts that violate modesty online. These acts include sexual innuendos or attempts at physical and verbal harm through the internet or any means of electronic communication. The targets of such acts include adults, both men and women, as well as children.

Forms and Types of online Harassment

online harassment acts can be classified according to the targets. The UAE law has dedicated specific regulations for behaviors contrary to morality, intended to harass adults. Often, the crime extends to extortion or threats. Some forms of harassment and accompanying crimes include:

Harassment using pornography

The legislator penalizes any harasser who creates, manages, supervises, broadcasts, transmits, publishes, or re-publishes pornographic materials via the internet, or any other means of electronic communication, that may undermine public morals.

Incitement to debauchery

The crime of harassment may be accompanied by incitement or seduction of another person to engage in prostitution or debauchery, or assisting them in doing so, using a computer network or any information technology means.

Extorting victims

One of the most common accompanying crimes to harassment is when the harasser blackmails or threatens the victim to compel them to perform or refrain from an act using a computer network or any information technology means. The legislator has intensified the punishment if the threat involves committing a crime or attributing dishonorable acts to the victim, explicitly or implicitly demanding an action or refraining from it.

Invasion of privacy

The harasser may violate the victim’s privacy using a computer network, an electronic information system, or any information technology means, with the intention of infringing upon their privacy or the sanctity of their private or family life without consent and under circumstances not permitted by law, in one of the following ways:

  • Eavesdropping, interception, recording, transmission, or disclosure of conversations or communications, whether audio or visual.
  • Capturing images of others in any public or private place, producing electronic images, transmitting, disclosing, copying, or retaining them.
  • Publishing news, electronic images, photographs, scenes, comments, data, or information, whether true or not, with the intent to harm the person.
  • Capturing images of the injured, dead, or victims of accidents or disasters, and transmitting or publishing them without permission or consent of the concerned parties.
  • Tracking or monitoring the geographical data of others, disclosing, transmitting, copying, or retaining it.

Laws and Legislation of online Harassment in the UAE

The UAE legislator sternly punishes perpetrators of electronic harassment in the UAE, with penalties ranging from imprisonment for six months up to ten years, depending on the committed crime and accompanying offenses such as extortion or violation of the sanctity of private life. Additionally, fines start from 250,000 dirhams and can reach up to one million dirhams, depending on the scale and impact of the crime, as well as its circumstances.

Electronic Harassment of Children

The crime of harassment is not limited to adults, but perpetrators may also target children with their offenses. The legislator takes a stricter stance against those who harass children, considering it an aggravated circumstance warranting harsher punishment. If the content shared or sent via the internet is pornographic and involves children, or if the content is designed to lure children, the minimum penalty is doubled.

It is essential to emphasize at the end of the article the importance of victims of online harassment reporting this crime without fear or hesitation. Contributing to putting an end to this type of crime ensures that criminals receive their due punishment, thus protecting our communities and children. You can contact us directly for assistance in reporting this crime.

you can read also related article: How to File a Fraud Complaint in UAE

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About Author

Humam Khalifa

A seasoned legal researcher with over 10 years of experience in legal research, article writing, precise legal analysis, and extensive legal research across various fields of law, including civil law, commercial law, criminal law, and international law.

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