Coronavirus fake news: UAE court orders jail term for accused
The National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) had in August denied the story.
Two men — who were accused of fabricating a report about five members of an Emirati family dying of Covid-19 — have been sentenced to two years in jail. The report had been aired on a UAE television channel.
The Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal found the channel’s correspondent and his interviewee guilty of putting out a fabricated story, state news agency WAM reported on Thursday.
The court also ordered that the interviewee who provided false information to the reporter be deported at the end of his prison term.
The public prosecution said the report had affected members of the UAE community, “leaving them in a state of confusion and fear” about Covid-19.
Saif Al Dhaheri, the official spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), had earlier said: “The incident that was broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports Channel is false and fabricated. The family does not exist and the story is completely fictitious and made up.”
Counsellor Salem Al Zaabi, acting head of the Emergency Crisis and Disaster Prosecution, had said that the channel’s correspondent did not verify the authenticity of the information. “He contradicted what was dictated by his professional work duties.”
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