criminal law

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December 24, 2019

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Someone is spreading lies that my wife is cheating - what can I do?

Question: A person is recklessly calling me and sending me messages claiming that my wife is having an affair, which is not true. He has sent us pictures of a man and woman together in a public area, from which it is clear that the woman in the picture is not my wife. I have blocked him and yet he reached out to our family friend and started spreading rumours about my wife. What legal action can I take against him?

Answer: Defamation is a criminal offence in the UAE, which attracts strict punishment. Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code punishes any act that "harms a person's honour or dignity". The punishment could be imprisonment or a fine. Moreover, Article 21 of the UAE Cyber Crime Law prohibits the use of electronic means for the purpose of defamation and punishes the act with imprisonment and a fine up to Dh500,000. Since electronic means - including phone calls, pictures and messages - were used to attribute false statements to your wife, you may register a complaint with Dubai Police's Electronic Crime Department. It is equipped to conduct an investigation to identify the accused and proceed with criminal investigation.

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