Newly updated laws in the UAE have confirmed that those convicted of cyberbullying could be hit with six months in jail and a huge AED150,000 fine.
The news comes after details of bullying emerged on Twitter recently at one of Dubai’s schools. The video quickly went viral after a student was threatened and harassed by another student.
The video went viral on social media this week but the incident reportedly took place at the GEMS World Academy a few weeks ago. A company statement said:
“We are aware of an earlier incident at one of our schools and can confirm that appropriate action has already been taken in accordance with our safeguarding policy. The school acted promptly to investigate and resolve the issue and we will continue to prioritise the safety, security and well-being of all our students.”
GEMS World Academy CEO Stuart Walker went one step further, revealing the outcome of the bullying video.
“We have been aware of this for two weeks. A full investigation was conducted. The two students have been withdrawn from the school and there were five suspensions. All the students in Grade 7 have been spoken to and letters have been sent to all parents. It was a relatively isolated incident and contained to a small group of students.”
The law explained
As per Article 21 of the UAE Federal Decree-Law 5/2012, cybercrimes are punishable by a jail term of at least six months and/or a fine not less than Dh150,000 and not exceeding Dh500,000, he explained.
All types of cyberbullying or cybercrimes should be reported to police on 999, or online at www.ecrime.ae, 80012, or Interior Ministry toll-free number 116111
Cyberbullying in the UAE is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. It can occur through SMS, Text, and apps. Or online in social media, forum, gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behaviour.
If you do encounter cyberbullying, this useful guide has some strategies on how to deal with it.
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