Sending heart emojis in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is now a risky business, as authorities are taking measures against such online expressions of affection. The emojis are now viewed as serious legal violations that could potentially lead to imprisonment, reported Arabian Business.
Haya Al Shalahi, a prominent Kuwaiti lawyer, shed light on this development. As per the new interpretation of the law in Kuwait, sending a heart emoji to women on platforms like WhatsApp is now seen as an act of “incitement to debauchery.”
The punishment for this offense could be a jail term of up to two years, coupled with a fine not exceeding 2,000 Kuwaiti dinars.
Simultaneously, Saudi Arabia has also cracked down on the casual use of affectionate emojis. As per the current legal perspective, sending a ‘red heart’ emoji via WhatsApp may result in serious penalties. The penalties include a prison sentence ranging from two to five years and a fine of 100,000 Saudi Riyals.
Al Moataz Kutbi, a specialist in cybercrime and member of the Anti-Fraud Association in Saudi Arabia, has warned that a red heart on WhatsApp could be construed as “harassment” under the nation’s legal framework.
He clarified that certain images or phrases used in online dialogues could escalate into a crime of harassment, particularly if the aggrieved party chooses to lodge a legal complaint.
For individuals with previous offenses, the penalties become even stiffer. Repeat offenders could face an increased fine of up to an alarming 300,000 Saudi Riyals, and the imprisonment term could extend to a maximum of five years.
Via Arabian Business