Dubai woman fined Dhs500,000 over Whatsapp messages
An Emirati woman has been fined Dhs500,000 for comments she made to her uncle over messaging service Whatsapp.
The woman, who is 53 and a teacher, has been charged in the Dubai courts under new UAE hate crime laws for using hateful language in an exchange with her uncle, 60, according to 7Days.
She’s also been charged with insulting Islamic scholar Yazid Bin Muawiya, who lived 1,400 years ago in the Whatsapp exchange with her uncle (which began in November 2015 and ended in January 2016).
According to 7Days the woman admitted the charges, but claimed she had financially supported her uncle for 29 years but that he abandoned her after she developed cancer.
“He didn’t see or look after me,” she is reported to have said. “And now he is fighting me over a will. He deserved what I said to him. A person who sends his niece to court is not a man.”
She is reported to have called her uncle “tyrannous, wicked and a forger” in the incriminating messages.
“This case surfaced due to an inheritance disagreement between us,” Gulf News has reported the woman as saying.
“I have been teaching for 29 years,” the woman said in court according to Gulf News. “Several generations graduated during my tenure. Probably some of you here graduated because of me.”
The judge in the case was Judge Fahad Al Shamsi.
It has been reported that the relatives are both Muslims, but are from different sects.
Those in breach of the hate crime laws the woman was charged under can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and be issued a fine of up to Dhs1 milion.