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In general parlance, defamation refers to making false statements against another person publicly, which has the potential to injure such person’s reputation or dignity. Defamation is a concept recognized globally and, in many countries, results in criminal sanctions against the perpetrator.
Defamation can be oral, through spoken words publicly, or written, whether through newspapers, magazines or modern technology. Defamation lawyers are experts who deal with cases related to defamation on a regular basis.
Defamation lawyers will explain below the applicable laws related to defamation in the UAE.
Criminality of Defamation in the UAE
In the United Arab Emirates, defamation is an offence which results in criminal penalties, and is accordingly, punishable with imprisonment and fines or either of these penalties. The criminal offence of defamation is governed by the Penal Code of the UAE, called the Federal Decree Law No. 31 of 2021 On the Issuance of Crimes and Penalties Law.
Article 425 and Article 426 deal with defamation as a criminal offence under the UAE Penal Code. Under Article 425 of the UAE Penal Code, if a person defames another person publicly, by attributing a fact to him which results in him being subject to hatred or contempt, he would be punishable with imprisonment for maximum two years and / or fines of maximum AED 20,000. Defaming a person through a newspaper or a publication is treated as an aggravating circumstance.
In addition to the above, if a person insults another person publicly to injure his honor or dignity without imputing any fact against him, he will also be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of one year and/ or fine of AED 20,000 maximum (Article 426). The fines could be higher if the act injures the reputation of families or is done to achieve an unlawful purpose.
Defamation on Social Media
In today’s day and age, with modern technology taking over our lives, the chances of a person defaming you behind the screen are much higher. According to Defamation lawyers, it is not uncommon to see insults, abuses, rude texts, and defamatory comments posted on websites and social media posts.
The UAE laws cater to this situation as well. The Cybercrime Laws of the UAE, (Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021 Concerning the Fight Against the Rumors and Cybercrime) punishes defamation on online platforms. Any insult or defamatory statement posted online will render the perpetrator subject to imprisonment and / or fines under Article 43 of the Cybercrime Law.
Making changes to a photo, video or a recording of a person by using modern technology, in order to abuse or defame the person would also result in penalties to the perpetrator (Article 44 of the Cybercrime Law). These penalties include criminal sanctions such as imprisonment of at least 1 year, as well as fines between AED 250,000 to AED 500,000.
Defamation as a Civil Action
In addition to the criminal actions that can be taken for defamation, according to Defamation lawyers, you can also file a case seeking damages in the civil court for defamation.
Damages are monetary compensation payable by the perpetrator to cover for the damage caused to a party due to defamation. The amount of compensation that the judge may award would depend upon many factors and is given based on the merits of each case.
Consult expert defamation lawyers today for defamation related legal issues. Contact us today.
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