20 years in jail for spreading fake coronavirus news

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The government has gazetted tough new laws that could see people spending up to 20 years in prison for spreading fake news on coronavirus.

Section 14 of Statutory Instrument 83 of the Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order, 2020. Publication or communication of “false or fake news” during the national lockdown period could attract the excessive punishment, heavy fine, or both .

The government published Statutory Instrument (SI) 77 of 2020 to focus on Public Health prevention measures of COVID-19, its containment and treatment, where those found guilty of flouting regulations would be liable to a fine not exceeding level 12 or to imprisonment for a year .

According to Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020, people who peddle information deemed false by the government face up to 20 years in prison. a hefty fine or both.

“For the avoidance of doubt any person who publishes or communicates false news about any public officer involved with enforcing or implementing the national lockdown in his or her capacity as such, or about any private individual that has the effect of prejudicing the state’s enforcement of the national lockdown, shall be liable for prosecution under section 31 of the Criminal Law Code and liable to the penalty there provided, that is to say a fine up to or exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years or both,”

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