Saudi Arabia: Sending red heart emoji can land people in jail for 5 years

Riyadh: In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) sending ‘red heart’ emojis on WhatsApp can land a user in jail, local media reported.

According to Saudi law, if the sender is found guilty, that person can be jailed for two to five years and a fine of 100,000 Saudi riyals (Rs 19,90,328).

This was revealed when a Saudi cybercrime expert issued a statement in Arabic daily Okaz saying that sending red hearts on WhatsApp amounted to “harassment” in the country.

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Al Moataz Kutbi, a member of the Anti-Fraud Association in Saudi Arabia, said that the use of “certain images and expressions during online conversations may turn into a harassment crime if a lawsuit is filed by the aggrieved party,” Gulf News reported.

He warned users not to engage in conversation with anyone without their consent, saying that “use of explicit expressions or red heart emojis” could be interpreted as a gesture with sexual intent.

In case of a repeated violation, the fine could reach 300,000 Saudi Riyals (Rs 59,70,984) with five years in jail.

This is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has announced such rules. In November last year, it was reported that in Saudi Arabia, removing a person from a WhatsApp group could result in the person being arrested with a fine of 500,000 Saudi riyals (Rs 99,51,641).

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