Steep fine for Saudi man who defamed another on Twitter

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A dispute between two Saudis brings a $2,666 fine.

Defaming someone on Twitter in Saudi Arabia can come with a steep cost.

A 25-year-old man was handed an SR10,000 ($2,666.64) fine and a suspended four-month prison sentence after being found guilty of defaming another user. The plaintiff had filed a complaint with Qatif Province security forces.

The Qatif Province District Court stated that sending libelous and defamatory statements via “electronic and media means” is a punishable crime, according to Saudi Gazette. Under the nation’s Information Anti-Crime Act, one can be punished for such remarks with a one year prison sentence and/or a SR500,000 ($133,332.42) fine.

In July, a number of Saudi tweeters posted defamatory remarks about the country’s first-ever female Olympians, leading one of the women’s fathers to sue those who insulted his daughter.

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