Two Abu Dhabi rival football fans investigated for breaching UAE cyber laws

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Like all football enthusiasts, it is no surprise that a sense of rivalry and challenge may spark between supporters of different clubs. However, one must know the boundaries of right and wrong.

Two supporters of rival footballs clubs in Abu Dhabi are now under investigation by the Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution after they reportedly exchanged obscene and explicit language over social media platforms.

Their actions violate the UAE’s cyber laws and were deemed as “inappropriate and immoral.”

A Khaleej Times article has cited prosecutors on the case as to saying on Tuesday that officials from the concerned football clubs have been contacted to probe the matter. The prosecuters also requested evidence of the law-breaking posts.

In a statement by the prosecutors, they said: “Engaging in sport in a safe environment is a right guaranteed by law to all people in the society, including sports clubs and institutions, and the law criminalizes any acts of attacks against one another - whether verbal or through actions - or spreading the same on social media.”

Touching upon the notion of freedom of expression, they said: “Freedom of speech or opinion as guaranteed by the law should be exercised in the right way putting into consideration public morality and respect for each other.”

According to UAE cybercrime laws, violators of the rules may face financial sanctions ranging between $13,613 to $544,520, which is equivalent to AED50,000 to AED2 million, or serve jail time.

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