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Dubai appeals court upholds expat’s sentence for blasphemous Facebook post

The expat appeared at the appeal courts in Dubai (Shutterstock)
DUBAI: Appeal courts in Dubai have upheld an earlier jail sentence handed down to an expat for posting blasphemous comments on Facebook.
The man, who worked as a welder will now serve the one-year sentence before being deported, as well as pay a 500,000 dirham fine ($136,100).
The man, from India, had claimed his Facebook account had been hacked and that he had not written the comments about the Prophet that were found on his timeline on Nov. 6, 2016.
However investigators revealed that the man had signed out of his account and deleted all his personal data the day after the comments were posted according to local press reports.
Despite denials that he had accessed the account at the time, prosecutors said similar comments had been made on his account in October 2016
Prosecutors told the court that the man also posted comments that insulted Arabs and described as a “chaotic religion,” according to UAE daily The National.
He was arrested after a fellow Indian expat reported him to police after seeing the remarks on Facebook.
“I felt so offended by the insults against my prophet so I asked a friend who knew the suspect and where he lived and I went to his house in Al Rashidiyah and found him drunk,” the grocery shop worker was quoted in The National as saying.
The defendant was convicted earlier this year, but lodged an appeal against the sentence.
Under UAE law blasphemy is illegal or to discriminate against a person because of their religion – and technically this law applies to all religions.