New Information on #FreeScottRichards - Possible Charges under Cybercrime Laws Review your social me
Federal Decree-Law no. (5) of 2012 ON COMBATING CYBERCRIME
Article 27 of the Cybercrime Laws provide that anyone who publishes information on a computer network to call or promote for the collection of donations without a license accredited by the competent authority will be punished by imprisonment and a fine of between AED 200,000 (apx. GBP 40,000 and AED 500,000 (apx. GBP 100,000). The sentence, if convicted, would likely include deportation.
According to news provider 7days, Prosecutors said that Scott is yet to be officially charged and the investigation is ongoing. Officials believe he raised about USD 500 from within the UAE, though he was not the owner of the fundraising endeavour:
We have helped numerous foreign nationals who have been charged under the UAE’s cybercrime laws. Any comments on social media that could be deemed offensive, slanderous or in any way opposed to the ideals of the UAE, could result in detention, fines and deportation. This is the type of law that can apply to any resident of the UAE and it is easy to inadvertently breach this law. Residents could also be subjected to complaints to the police under cybercrime laws from individuals who have a personal vendetta against them or other motivating factor. If reports are received by police, they will take them seriously and enforce the strict laws. This is another example of how arbitrary some of the laws of the UAE are and why we felt the need to launch the Detained in Dubai membership program, to be able to fill the gap in access to ongoing legal protection and support for foreigners in the UAE, who would otherwise be left to fend for themselves.
We urge expats and visitors to the UAE to familiarise themselves with the cybercrime laws prior to travel. If their social media sites promote anything that may contradict the laws, we advise them to delete the posts in advance, especially if any promote a fundraising cause or may contradict the morals of the UAE. The laws can be seen here:
We can not officially confirm what laws Scott will be charged under, if any, and will keep the public updated as the case progresses.