Houthi terror attack on UAE foiled: Residents told to follow news from official sources

Anyone who uses the internet to publish, circulate or spread false news, rumours or misleading information could be punished by imprisonment and fined Dh100,000

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 24 Jan 2022, 12:42 PM

The UAE's air defence successfully shot down ballistic missiles fired at Abu Dhabi by the Houthi terrorist militia in the early hours of Monday.

Residents took to social media to report seeing flashes in the night sky and hearing loud sounds. What they saw and heard was the UAE's robust defence systems intercepting and destroying the missiles.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that there were no casualties, and fragments from the missiles fell safely in different areas around Abu Dhabi.

As is the case when news reports like these emerge, social media and the internet are abuzz with information, some of them misleading and even fake.

The Ministry of Defence has urged residents to follow developments of the news from the UAE's official sources.

According to the UAE's new cybercrime law, anyone who uses the internet to publish, circulate or spread false news, rumours or misleading information, contrary to the news published by official sources, could be punished by imprisonment for at least one year and fined Dh100,000.

In case the false news agitates public opinion against state authorities or occurs during times of pandemic, crises or disasters, the violator could be imprisoned for at least two years and fined Dh200,000.


"Under the new provision, online users who share incorrect information are also part of the crime, not only the publisher. Now everyone has the responsibility to confirm the information they receive before sharing it or risk being jailed," Ghassan El Daye, partner and head of litigation in Middle East at Charles Russell Speechlys, had told Khaleej Times earlier.

"This is important because we know how fake news tends to be attractive for readers to share without confirming its authenticity which may unintentionally cause panic."


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