UAE jails Omani over WhatsApp insults to state

AFP , Monday 29 Feb 2016

The Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates on Monday jailed an Omani man for three years for "mocking" the Gulf state on WhatsApp messenger, local media reported.

Saleh Mohammed Saleh al-Owaissi, 29, was convicted of "distributing information aimed at mocking and harming the reputation of the state," Al-Ittihad newspaper reported on its website.

He had distributed an audio recording "in which he accused the state and its martyrs in Yemen of cowardness and treachery," the report said, citing the verdict.

Owaissi was also fined 50,000 dirhams ($13,625).

It was unclear with whom he shared the message on the popular mobile telephone application, or how many people it reached.

The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Shia rebels in Yemen in support of internationally recognised President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.


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