- Legal Articles
- Ask Elhais
February 08, 2020|
Offenders could potentially face up to three years in prison
UAE residents who post fake stories about the coronavirus on social media risk criminal charges, experts said on Friday.
Lawyers in the country warned legislation expressly prohibited spreading rumours that could affect security and "incite public panic".
Over recent days, a number of inaccurate posts on Twitter regarding the outbreak have caused alarm in the country.
One tweet even suggested three people in Dubai had died from the infection, an allegation which is entirely false.
"It's unacceptable and people should know better than to circulate news they are not 100 per cent certain of," said Ahmed Ibrahim Saif, a former head of Dubai's criminal court.
He warned that posting fake information not only risked frightening UAE residents but also impacted tourists and business travellers considering visiting the country.
More than 560 people are confirmed to have died in China after contracting the Coronavirus.
Health experts fear more fatalities will follow, with authorities around the world on high alert in an effort to contain its spread.
Last week, a message received by a parent on a WhatsApp group in Sharjah, asked recipients to bring in surgical masks for school children.
But officials later said no such instruction had been issued, stating that the wearing of masks was unnecessarily alarming.
"I received the message and the next morning I asked a teacher about it when I dropped my kids off to school," said Munawar Hamza, a mother of two.
However the school responded saying surgical masks were "banned" to prevent frightening young pupils.
"Please note, surgical masks are banned in school," the school said in an email.
"They only serve to heighten tension and hysteria - especially amongst our younger students."
Under existing UAE law, anyone found guilty of spreading false rumours could face between one month and three years in prison.
Dr. Hassan Elhais, a legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and columnist for The National, said authorities had every right to take the spreading of false rumours seriously.
"Actions such as circulating hoax news about serious matters that can contribute to public fear and panic are penalised," he said.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.
...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...
I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.
Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.
He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.
Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.
Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.
I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.
Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.