Libel and insulting crimes and its punishment in UAE`s legislation
Libel: is to attribute to another, through a means of publicity, a fact that makes him object of punishment or contempt.
Article (372) from the Federal UAE`s penal code (3) of 1987 stipulates the following:
The penalty shall be detention and/or a fine in case the libel is perpetrated against public servant, or a person in charge of a public service, during or because of the discharge of his duties or performing the public service, or if it affects honor or the reputation of the families, or if it is expected to fulfill an illicit purpose. In case the libel is done by means of publication in one of the newspapers or printed material, this shall be considered an aggravating circumstance.
We note that the text of the third paragraph of Article 372 has emphasized the penalty in the fact of Libel by means of publication: ((In case the libel is done by means of publication in one of the newspapers or printed material, this shall be considered an aggravating circumstance)).
When investigating Libel, it is necessary to ensure the existence of the publicity element, as well as the availability of mens rea through the offender’s will to direct slander to the victim.
Insulting is: In language: is cursing, whether by explicit pronunciation or by using suggestion terms. Is to cast the others, through a means of publicity, offending their honor and respect with the absence of attribution of a specific incident. And is considered as an expression that degrades the person`s reputation before others, whether the insult occurred at the presence or absence of the victim. Thus, is not required that the insult has occurred at the presence of the victim since the point is the psychological harm that will inflect the victim by hearing words that offend his reputation and Honor. , Insult is not confined to certain terms, it could be inferred by some movements and gestures of the perpetrator, estimating it is determined by the judge.
Article (373) from the Federal UAE`s penal code (3) of 1987 stipulates the following:
Shall be sentenced to detention for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine, not over ten thousand Dirham. Whoever casts another, by any publicity means, with any statement that affects his honor or dignity without attributing to him a specific fact. The penalty shall be detention for a term not exceeding two years and a fine not in excess of twenty thousand Dirham, in both instances, or one of those two penalties if the insult is addressed to a Public servant or a person in charge of a public service, during or because of the discharge of his duties or performing the public service, or if it affects honor or reputation of the families, or is expected to fulfill an illicit purpose.
In case the insult is done by means of publication in one by means of newspapers or printed material, this shall be considered an aggravating circumstance.
We will discuss the insulting subject Using one of the means of information technology in UAE`s legislation, The United Arab Emirates is one of the leading countries which has enacted new legislation for the prosecution of people who use the techniques of social communication and modern technology in an abusive way to others. Development of modern techniques facilitates to abusive users of this technology that do not realize the main target of social media. , Which is the opportunity for social networking and exchanging ideas, but many people have not understood this goal, and they are using it illegally in terms of directing the bitter criticism that reaches up to the limit of insulting and mockery.
The UAE`s legislation takes up the mission to put a limit to these abusers by issuing the law of 2006 then the Federal-law No 5 of 2012 concerning combating cybercrimes. UAE`s tightened the punishment of insult addressed by means of information technology: shall be sentenced to detention for a term not exceeding ten years and fine no exceeding of 250000 Dirham.
Thus, the punishment has been tightened to exceed the punishment of insulting directly: shall be sentenced to detention for a term of one year and to a fine of 10000 Dirham.
Concerning this matter, UAE`s courts rendered judgments of detentions and fines to who contravenes the provisions in the state.
Internet users shall use complicated passwords, not connecting with strangers, avoiding access to suspected sites and applications, to block annoying and intruders people and not to publish private pictures and personal information via the internet.
The great development in technology has allowed the police in the United Arab Emirates to track those criminals by tracking their protocol number of the Internet of the devices they use, and through it can know where the device was used. Thus, this permits the possibility of arresting the offender.
Article (20) of the law No 5 of 2012 concerning cybercrimes regulated the following:
Without prejudice to the crime of slander determined by the Islamic Sharia, shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine not less than two hundred fifty-thousand Dirhams and not in excess of five hundred thousand dirhams or either of these two penalties whoever insults or accuses another person of a matter of which he shall be subject to punishment or being held in contempt by others, by using a computer network or an information technology means. If a slander or insult is committed against a public official or servant in the course of or because of his work, this shall be considered an aggravating factor of the crime.
According to the Federal Penal Code No. 3 of 1987, the penalties prescribed for the offense of insult, as amended in articles 371 374, ranged from two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to 10,000 Dirhams.
Furthermore, in response to the challenge of crimes using technical information means the UAE`s legislator devoted more severe penalty than the direct Insult as these penalties are considered dangerous for the community and its stability and on the other hand these crimes spread easily and there is a possibility to reach to many people in short time.
What is the difference between the crime of Libel and Insulting?
Libel: to accuse another person of a matter of which he shall be subject to punishment or being held in contempt by others, meanwhile, insulting is cursing whether by explicit pronunciation or by using suggestion terms. Is to cast the others, through a means of publicity, offending their honor and respect with the absence of attribution of a specific incident. The difference between them that libel includes the attribution of a specific incident. Moreover, insulting does not include the attribution of a specific incident. On the other hand, the UAE`s legislator sentenced to detention a perpetrator crime of Libel for a term not exceeding two year or to a fine not in excess of twenty thousand Dirham, whereas, sentenced to detention a perpetrator crime of insulting for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not in excess of ten thousand Dirham.