jail, prison, imprisonment
Picture for illustrative purposes only. We have detected many rumours and fake news being circulated among people about shortages in foodstuff. This spreads fears among people and all promoters of rumours will be held accountable. We will strictly implement the law, Al Shamsi added. Image Credit: iStockphoto

Dubai: All individuals who spread rumours about coronavirus on social media will be temporarily imprisoned, the UAE Attorney-General Dr Hamad Al Shamsi said on Monday.

Rumourmongers may be jailed for a minimum term of a year if they spread rumours punishable by law that are considered a crime. However, it may be less than a year depending on the crime they commit, the attorney general said in a media briefing.

Al Shamsi said, “UAE security authorities will take strict measures and harsh penalties ranging from one year to several years prison term will be handed down to rumour-mongers proportionally to the panic caused by the rumours."

The Attorney General stressed that the rumor-mongers may be held accountable according to the articles of the Federal Criminal Law and the Federal Law to Combat Cybercrime together, pointing out that these rumour-mongers undermine the security and stability of society, threaten the development process in the country and spread fear and panic among members of society whether citizens or residents.

Al Shamsi said that confronting these rumors and lies will be by imposing tough punishment, according to the judge’s opinion after completing the investigation and transferring rumour-mongers to the judiciary to stand trial.

Stop circulating fake news Public Prosecution

He added that the prosecution and CID bodies spotted audio and video clips containing false and incorrect information or rather rumors about the degree of spread of the coronavirus in society or about measures taken by state agencies to deal with the spread of the strain.

“These videos included allegations about measures to impose curfew or control their daily lives, which are rumors punishable by law and we confirm that anybody who commits such a crime will face a severe punishment,” he said and called on members of the public not be dragged behind these rumours.

Dr Al Shamsi also called upon people to follow news about fighting the Coronavirus on its official sources represented by the committee formed by the state to manage the crisis and from the statements of ministries and official bodies.

He affirmed the efficiency of state and professional agencies in facing the spread of the Coronavirus, which contributed to limiting the spread of the strain.