In respect to the UAE’s recent proclamation of special sanctions for religious intolerance, specifically for those conveyed online, three security guards of a five-star resort have each been fined AED 500,000 by a Dubai court for insulting Islam on social media.
Aside from slapping the convicted of hefty fines, the trio has already been detained and has been ordered by the Dubai Court of First Instance to be deported after paying the fines.
3 Men Who Insulted Islam Online Each Fined AED 500,000
The Dubai public prosecution identified and accused the three Sri Lankans, aged between 28 and 34, of contempt of religion through posts on Instagram and Facebook. It referred them to trial under the anti-discriminatory and hatred law and the Federal Penal Code, as shared in a report by the Khaleej Times.
According to the report, the case dates back to May 19 last year and was registered at the Al Barsha police station.
A police sergeant said they moved to the resort after receiving the report. “We found the three guards were already restrained by their colleagues.”
The police officer added, “With a prosecution warrant, we later searched their places and seized their mobile phones and laptops.“
A senior public relations officer at the resort tipped off the police regarding the incident, and explained, “I learned about the three employees’ posts in May last year. We summoned them for an internal probe. They admitted they had those posts on their accounts on Facebook.“
For his part, the police sergeant informed the prosecution investigator that the three defendants admitted they had posted those inappropriate messages and pictures on their accounts on social media. Copies of the malicious messages and pictures have been kept as prosecution evidence in the case file.
During the prosecution investigation, the three accused men admitted to the charge.
The verdict has already been motioned as final as not one of the defendants filed an appeal within the legal deadline prescribed by the Court.
The specific law in the UAE which governs cases such as this is Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 on Discrimination and Hate, Article (4), which penalizes the offender with fines ranging from AED 250,000 to AED 1 million and five years’ jail.
The law refers to the act of “offending any religion or any of its sacred things, disrupting or preventing religious observances or ceremonies by violence, distorting in any way, any of the holy books, destroying or desecrating, the sanctity of places of worship, graves, appurtenances or any of their contents.”
Because the UAE is one of the most varied nationalities in terms of residents in the Middle East, we must adhere to the laws governing freedom to practice one’s faith and exercise respect at all times.