What started out as a harmless joke became grounds for imprisonment when an Abu Dhabi resident allegedly posted an Instagram video of a friend and his family sleeping.
The man who shot the 15-second video during a boat cruise was arrested after his friend saw the footage on the social media site and contacted the police, stating that it was posted without his consent and was a violation of his privacy.
The man confessed to posting the video, but said he had only done so as a joke and did not think that his friend would report the incident to the police. The case is currently pending trial at the Al Ruwais Misdemeanor Court.
Under UAE law, unpublished photos and videos taken without consent from the second party are not considered invasion of privacy. But once they are published, the act becomes punishable by law, even if it is not committed with malicious intent.
If the defendant is found guilty of libel, he can face a fine from Dhs1,000 up to Dhs30,000.