A woman in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 70 lashes after insulting a man on WhatsApp. The 32-year-old whose nationality is not known pleaded guilty to ruining the reputation of the Saudi man through the mobile chat program following an argument between them. She was also fined £3,600, (SR20,000), for her remarks, reported the Gulf News.
According to the country's anti-cybercrime laws any person who commits, who defames, or inflicts damage upon others through the use of various information technology devices "shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding SR 500,000, or to either punishment."
In July 2014, two women from Jeddah were also given 20 lashes after insulting each other on WhatsApp, and were jailed for 10 days. Despite the judge wanting the pair - reportedly cousins - to settle their dispute out of court, neither side was prepared to apologise.
Similarly, American expat Ryan Pate could face five years in jail after breaking Abu Dhabi's cyber laws when he complained about his employer Global Aerospace Logisitics (Gal) on Facebook – reportedly calling them "backstabbers" after failing to extend his sick leave. His trial starts tomorrow, (17 March).
In 2014, British woman Roya Saberinejad Nobakht, 48, from Stockport was jailed for 20 years in Iran after criticising the government on Facebook. A petition has now been launched by her family and friends to free her amid claims she is being tortured in prison.