An Arab expat woman living in the United Arab Emirates has been fined and is being deported because she checked her husband's phone without him knowing after suspecting that he was having an affair.
The Ajman Criminal Court sentenced her to deportation and a fine of 150,000 dirhams for invading her husband's privacy under the UAE's cybercrime law, according to Gulf News .
The woman reportedly checked her husband's phone. She then sent photos, which apparently incriminated him for his infidelity, from his phone to hers on the popular messaging app WhatsApp. She intended to use the photos as evidence against him.
Unfortunately, the evidence was used against her instead.
After the woman accused her husband of being unfaithful, he filed a complaint with the Ajman court accusing her of accessing his phone and transferring electronic files without his permission, a punishable crime in the UAE.
Her lawyer Eman Sabt said that the women, who admitted to the charges, was convicted on May 12, adding that she and her husband both have Arab nationalities and are both in their 30s.
The woman was prosecuted under the UAE's infamous Federal Decree-Law No. 5 of 2012, which was created in order to combat cybercrime but has been widely criticized for its abnormally harsh penalties, especially when it comes to expats.
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."
The article also states that a punishable invasion of privacy can be carried out by ways that include "photographing others or creating, transferring, disclosing, copying or saving electronic photos," as well as "eavesdropping, interception, recording, transferring, transmitting or disclosure of conversations or communications, or audio or visual materials."
The UAE has seen numerous cases in recent years in which expats were deported for violating the cybercrime law.
The Abu Dhabi family prosecution service received at least 10 cases in the first half of 2015 in which people were deported for insulting their spouse on messaging apps including WhatsApp, according to The National .
In addition, a UAE cybercrime case made international headlines last July, when an Australian woman was detained and deported for posting a photo on Facebook of a car parked across two disabled parking spaces in front of her apartment in Abu Dhabi.