Cybercrime laws in the United Arab Emirates are no joke, and the latest case of one Arab man is proof of that.
A man in his 50s - whose identity remains undisclosed - was recently deported from the UAE after sending offensive messages to his wife via the messaging platform.
According to Gulf News, the primary court initially ordered a 5,000 dirham fine for the offense, which was rejected by the public prosecution.
The Sharjah Appeal Court ordered - in addition to the fine - an automatic deportation. The verdict was made by Judge Obaid Mohammad Ebrahim Mubarak in absentia.
The series of offensive messages came following a family dispute which ultimately turned into a verbal argument.
The husband barged out of the house soon after, leading to a series of messages to his wife.
"He texted me on Whatsapp messages that were full of offensive words," she said, according to Gulf News.
The man was prosecuted under the country's cybercrime law.
The UAE's Cybercrime Law
In the UAE, a rigid cybercrime law is set in place - governing various aspects of the internet including social media posts made to Facebook and Whatsapp messages.
According to the UAE's 2012 cybercrime law, individuals can be prosecuted if they make statements deemed "disrespectful" toward Islam, morals, and good conduct.
This includes slander and breach of privacy, as well as posts or comments that are meant to harm another's reputation and/or publishing information about an individual without permission.
According to Gulf News, Article 21 of the law states that anyone who "uses a computer network and/or electronic information system (social media) for the invasion of privacy of another person in other than the cases allowed by the law," will be sentenced to "imprisonment of a period of at least six months and a fine not less than 150,000 dirhams and not in excess of 500,000 dirhams or either of these two penalties."
In the first half of 2015, the Abu Dhabi family prosecution received at least 10 cases in which people were deported for insulting their spouse on messaging apps including Whatsapp.