Many people know that if you are caught flipping off, or in other words, showing the middle finger to another person inside the Saudi Arabia, you could very well land yourself in prison. However the legal experts have issued a new warning in which sending an emoticon or emoji, as they are now called, in which a gesture of the middle finger is shown, on any message or social media platform, you could very well get into trouble for that too. The lawyers and Police have also issued a warning after news came that Microsoft will be becoming the first every manufacturer which will allow their users the facility of showing the finger on the latest version of their operating systems. The feature is set to be launched in the Windows 10 Operating System.
Making a gesture of a middle finger to another person is considered illegal within the Saudi Arabia and can lead you to face hefty fines or even time behind bars, additionally according to the laws of cybercrime anybody who sends these offensive gestures to another on the internet will also now face prosecution. Abdullah Yousef Al Nasir, a Criminal Defense Lawyer inside the Kingdom stated to the media. Al Nasir also added that even sending this emoticon through your smart phone or even a picture of the gesture is enough to land you in deep trouble. The gesture of the middle finger is considered an insult inside the Saudi Arabia, like it is all around the world, however in the Saudi Arabia the laws allow punishment for this act which can be up to 3 years behind bars or even a hefty fine of up to SAR 500,000. Additionally if an expatriate is charged with this act, it is most likely that they will get deported from the Saudi Arabia.
There is however some leeway as the police or authorities have to receive an actual complaint from somebody who has received the insulting gesture, in order for the authorities to take the necessary actions. This means that if the gesture is shared between friends on a lighter note, and the friends do not complain to the authorities, then they would not be getting into trouble for that. He added that people need to realize the gravity of the situation and how much of an insult it is really considered within the Saudi Arabia.
With the advancement and development in technology, people have started using social media in order to insult others. The social media services which are used most frequently by the people also include the BlackBerry Messenger App and also Whatsapp. Some of the people are mocking others online and they think that there will be no repercussions. However the Saudi Arabia has implemented new laws of Cyber Crime which will allow the authorities to punish those who are involved in committing these acts of crime on the internet.
A senior police official from Dubai has asked people to think before sending such things as anybody who received it can turn it into a formal police complaint.