Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) has categorically denied rumours being circulated regarding the death of a female student from a heart attack purportedly due to failing a course or having to repeat an academic year.
The establishment confirmed that there is no record of any student by the purported name in any of the schools affiliated with the institution across the UAE.
Further investigation by official authorities has also confirmed that no student by this name has been reported dead in the country. The false narrative appears to have originated from certain social media accounts and lacks any factual foundation.
Such misleading information is not only alarming but also stands as a breach of the Federal Law on Countering Rumors and Cybercrimes, as it sows confusion and disseminates unverified, false news in the society. The Emirates school establishment urged the public to rely on official news sources and to exercise caution before sharing or publishing unverified information.
Tougher penalties for spreading rumours, false news
Spreading rumours or propagating false news online has always been a punishable crime in the UAE. With the new amendments to UAE’s Cybercrime Law, however, the punishment for such offences has became harsher.
The new law presents tougher penalties for spreading rumours or false news on social media platforms. People can be punished with up to one year in jail and a fine of Dh100,000 if they publish or republish or circulate false news or information or propaganda.
New Federal Decree Law No 34 of 2021 has introduced major amendments to Federal Law 5 of 2012, Cybercrimes Law, covering crimes committed online.
The penalty can be up to two years in jail and a fine of Dh200,000 if the information published or shared results in agitating or stirring up public opinion against State authorities or institutions or are committed during times of pandemics, crises, emergencies or disasters