Deportation Made Optional in UAE Cybercrime Law


  • Deportation Made Optional in UAE Cybercrime Law
  • Source :
DUBAI - People charged with cybercrime related cases will no longer be subjected to mandatory deportation following the amendments made to the UAE Cybercrimes Law, according to authorities concerned.
Cybercrimes - most commonly insults and threats issued online - may not necessarily face imprisonment and deportation under the amended cyber crimes law. However, the court may rule to place the accused under an electronic probation and monitoring, and prevent him from using virtual platforms during a period not exceeding the penalty prescribed in the law.
The Dubai Court of Appeals recently overturned the deportation of a Canadian national, based on the Emiri Decree Number 2/2018 recently issued by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Hassan Elhais, legal counsellor of Al Rowaad Advocates, praised the new changes to the cybercrimes law, saying that it will greatly benefit people who have no criminal records.
"The punishment under the original law for insulting someone via the Internet included jail time and mandatory deportation for expats - both of which can ruin the life of the offender. But it is no longer the case after the amendments made. It is now the judge's decision to impose deportation or not. Earlier, judges had no call as the deportation was obligatory," Elhais said.
"In the light of the new amendment, the Dubai Court of Appeals has recently overturned the verdict of a lower court to deport our client, a Canadian citizen who was accused of insulting his former employer via an email," said Elhais.
The Dubai Court of Misdemeanor's verdict, which was based on Federal Law 5 of 2012, prior to its amendment, included a Dh10,000 fine and a mandatory deportation of the client, said Elhais. He added that the case was put before the Court of Appeals, requesting the overturn of deportation, as the original charge of issuing insults online is a misdemeanor and not a criminal offence. And under the amended law, "The court ruled in our client's favour and ordered the cancellation of the deportation," said Elhais.
Emirati lawyer Awatif Mohammed explained that the changes exclude online sexual crimes and felonies that are referred to the criminal court such as hate crimes, issuing sex-related threats, promoting prostitution, and running human trafficking website.
"Deportation is still obligatory for these crimes and punishments of such acts can even reach death penalty," she said.
Mohammed said that the introduction of electronic probation and monitoring for the first time offences, marks a step in the right direction towards establishing an advanced legal framework for cybercrimes in the country. She added that the UAE is the first country in the region to establish such a penalty for misusing information systems, similar to that implemented in the USA.

Source: Khaleej Times
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