UAE influencer fined Dh300,000 over social media spat

Man criticised fellow Emirati for sharing footage of her driving in Saudi Arabia

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Khobar City on her way to Kingdom of Bahrain on June 24, 2018. Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24, ending the world's only ban on female motorists, a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists. The move, which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban, is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's wide-ranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate.

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An Emirati social media influencer has been fined Dh300,000 for insulting a compatriot who showed her support for the Saudi government's decision to allow women to drive on the kingdom's roads.

The accused, who has a large following on social media platforms, posted a video of himself criticising the woman, widely known as Kashoona.

The online rant led to him being charged and brought before Abu Dhabi Misdemeanour Court.

His attack came after Kashoona released a video of her own driving a red pick-up truck and saying she felt 'proud" to be in Saudi Arabia and claimed she was the first Emirati woman to take to the country's roads.

The defendant released a video circulated on social media fiercely condemning her actions.

In court, Kashoona's lawyer Abeer Al Dahmani argued that the video caused her client “severe financial and moral damages that cannot be undone.”

The defendant confessed to recording and posting the video and was prosecuted for defamation and violating laws concerning behaviour while online.

The court ordered him to erase the defamatory video, close his Instagram account for two months, and   for the mobile phone they found the video saved on to be confiscated.

The defendant has also been ordered to pay Dh 21,000 in compensation to Kashoona.

The verdict remains subject to appeal.