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5 Filipinos detained in Sharjah over TikTok video, face up to 5 years in jail

Five Filipino expatriates have been detained in Sharjah after they posted a video on TikTok that authorities deemed indecent.

According to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the five are currently awaiting trial in Sharjah and face up to five years in jail if found guilty. The case is now with the Sharjah Public Prosecution.

“The UAE is strictly implementing its cyberlaw and is also very sensitive to actions against their customs and morality. Their culture is different, so we have to be very, very respectful,” DMW Secretary Toots Ople told media. She said that the department is monitoring the case and will update the family members of any development in the case.

The Filipino expats got in trouble after uploading an indecent video that went viral on TikTok. They allegedly uploaded it “just for fun” but were mistaken for prostitutes instead, said a relative of one of the expats.

Sharjah Police tracked down and arrested the Filipinos last month for promoting “immoral acts”.

Philippine Consul General in Dubai and Northern Emirates Renato Dueñas Jr. has assured that the consulate will provide necessary legal assistance to the five.

The UAE has tough laws against cybercrime and indecency, with punishments that include jail time and a fine of up to Dh1 million.

The UAE’s anti-cybercrime law prohibits the “posting any content which is harmful to women or children, such as human trafficking, pornography, prostitution and acts against public morality.” Under the law, violators will be punished with “imprisonment ranging from one to five years and penalties from Dh250,000 to Dh1 million.” ICA/Expat Media

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