Huge fines and jail for sharing accident photos

  • September 21, 2016
  • internetQatar
  • 3 min read

The Cabinet has referred to the Advisory Council the amended Penal Code, which includes penalties for clicking and sharing photographs of accident victims.

The decision was taken at the ordinary meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by HE the Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani at the Emiri Diwan, on Wednesday.
The official Qatar News Agency reported that the amendments include punishment for those found clicking pictures and recording videos – and sharing/transferring them – of accident victims (injured or deceased) “through devices of any kind in unauthorized cases”.

The amendments to the Penal Code, promulgated by Law No 11 of 2004, are aimed at prohibiting the widely prevalent practice of sharing accident victims’ pictures, mostly on social media platforms.

According to earlier reports, Article 333 of the law states that “whoever illegally intrudes into another person’s private life and without consent” through different means, including “taking or transmitting somebody’s photographs or pictures of other persons in a private place using any type of device”, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year in prison and/or a fine not exceeding QR5,000.

Similarly, Article 331 stipulates that “whoever spreads news, photographs or comments related to a person’s private life, or that of his family, even if true”, can be punished with a maximum jail term of one year and a fine of up to QR5,000, or either.

The Cabinet also took the necessary measures to issue a draft law on the official gazette after being briefed on the Advisory Council’s recommendations in this regard.

Under this, an official website will be created and an electronic copy of the official gazette will be posted there on the same day of its issuance, in accordance with rules framed by a decision of HE the Minister concerned.

The electronic version will have the “same authentic and legal implications” as the paper copy. In case of any difference, the paper copy will be invoked.

The draft law was approved by the Cabinet in April this year and referred to the Advisory Council for recommendations, as reported in Gulf Times earlier.

Under the terms of the draft law, the Ministry of Justice will prepare and publish the official gazette. Laws, decrees and other legislative instruments must be published in the official gazette.

“The denial of knowledge of the published material, since the date of its publication, will not be accepted in any way,” the report said.

The Cabinet also approved an Emiri draft decision to cancel Decision No 38 of 2011 on the establishment of the Qatari national committee for oil and gas.

Further, it reviewed some topics and took the appropriate decisions. These include a letter by the Minister of Culture and Sports on the draft Cabinet decision forming a coordinating committee to host international and regional sporting events, and the opinion of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs in this regard, as well as a letter by the Financial Information Unit on its fourth annual report for 2015. (GulfTimes)