Three men, woman charged with violating public morals, cyber laws in UAE
Action taken after 'indecent' clip went viral showing unrelated man, woman in car
Three men and a woman, who were detained for filming and publishing an offensive video on social media have been charged with violating public morality and online law.
The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution said on Sunday evening that it has also ordered for the arrest of the suspects from a GCC nation within seven days.
The move followed the men's publishing of a video on YouTube that showed a young woman and a man having a conversation inside a car despite them not being related, which is against norms of UAE society.
The Abu Dhabi Police said the 6-minute-video that also spread on social media, was contrary to the values, norms and traditions of the UAE society and that raised a wave of worry among the viewers.
Officers said the offenders were identified after the Police's team tracked down a social media account of a person who posted the offensive video on online.
The force first caught the first suspect who filmed, edited and posted the video on his YouTube account. And a further investigation into the case led to the arrest of the other three people who shared the offensive video.
The suspects admitted posting the video on social media claiming that their intention was to spread awareness among young women against going out with strangers men they have met on social media to avoid the risk of being raped or abducted.
The suspects also told prosecutors that the original film was 33 minutes but they edited it to a short clip for awareness purposes.
The first suspect said he removed the video footage from public viewership to only private viewers after getting flak from various people before completely deleting it from the internet after being warned about violating the law.
The Public Prosecution said UAE laws address all practices that constitute violation of public order and morals and misuse of modern technologies, especially social networking sites, in the framework of extending legal protection to the social, ethical and religious values of society.
People have been warned against misuse of social media by publishing offensive statements, videos, audio, photos or symbols that violate public morality or anything that could harm others.
Authorities have warned that they will continue to take necessary measures against anyone who violates the law.
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