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Dubai-based lawyer Barney Almazar answers the most common questions regarding your legal options in various cases related to living and working in the UAE.

My colleague spread gossip about me

Q: My colleague spread gossip that I was having an affair with a married officemate.

I already raised my complaint with our HR Department but until now, there was no action. I have evidence against my colleague because she sent a message with my photo to my supervisor who later showed it to me on her WhatsApp. I never had an affair with my officemate and all she was accusing me were lies. Can I file a case against her for spreading gossip about me?

Atty. Barney says: Yes, you can file a criminal case against your colleague for spreading gossip. The Penal Code punishes individuals who charge another person of an incident that can subject him to punishment or expose him to public hatred or content. The penalty is up to two years in jail and a fine of up to Dh20,000. You can also file a cybercrime case against this person.

If proven guilty by the court, your colleague may also face deportation after serving jail term.

Defamation via internet

Whoever uses the internet or social media to post comments, photos or recordings to defame or offend another person or attack or invade his privacy will face jail time of at least one year and a fine of not less than Dh250,000 or either of these two penalties.

Do you have a question for Attorney Barney? Contact him at or call +971558650248.  Barney Almazar is a director at Gulf Law in the UAE, Philippines, UK and Portugal. He is a member of the Philippine Bar and holds a UAE legal consultancy license. He is listed by Thomsom Reuters as one of the Super 50 lawyers in the Middle East and North Africa. Asian Legal Business has ranked him as top lawyer in the Philippines, Southeast Asia and Middle East. Know more about him here

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