Publishing fake news in UAE during pandemic or disaster means jail and Dh200,000 fines

Public Prosecution reminds residents of severe penalties for spreading false information online

Spreading misinformation on social media or by other means is a serious offence. AP Images

Anyone who uses the internet to publish, circulate or spread false news, rumours or misleading information, contrary to the news published by official sources, faces a year in jail and Dh100,000 in fines, state news agency Wam reported on Sunday.

The country’s Public Prosecution said this is doubled during a time of crisis, disaster or pandemics to two years in jail and Dh200,000 in fines. This also applies to fake news that “agitates public opinion against state authorities”.

The details are outlined in Federal Decree Law No 34 of 2021, aimed at combatting the spread of fake news.

It forms part of the Public Prosecution’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness of UAE laws among the public.

Updated: January 2nd 2022, 11:25 PM