Spreading rumours, fake information punishable by law: UAE Attorney-General

Spreading rumours, fake information punishable by law: UAE Attorney-General

ABU DHABI, 16th March, 2020 (WAM) -- The UAE government has been proactive in taking all the required precautionary measures to address the dangers posed by COVID-19, Dr. Hamad Saif Al Shamsi, UAE Attorney-General, said today.

"Spreading fake information and rumours is a crime punishable by law," he added in a media briefing today on the circulation of coronavirus-related rumours on social media.

He warned people against circulating false information and rumors about the spread of the novel virus, urging them to stop sharing videos showing families stocking food and other grocery products.

"Such material unjustifiably trigger unnecessary fear and panic among residents," he explained.

There was also false information spreading on social media that people should stay at home and are not allowed in public places," said Al Shamsi, adding that a number of people have been caught for such irresponsible acts.

"The UAE has taken all the necessary precautionary measures to prevent and contain the spread of the coronavirus. Spreading rumors about the virus on social media -- deliberately or out of ignorance-cause panic and chaos in society, and those who're doing this will face legal consequences."

‎Al Shamsi stated that the Public Prosecution assumes full responsibility toward firmly applying the law against violators to preserve public order and peace.

"The role of the Public Prosecution is to maintain the safety of society and its protection from any causes of fear and panic, he further added.

Al Shamsi urged various media outlets to educate the public on the dangers of spreading rumours or sharing unreliable information.