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In Malaysia, a local resident was first convicted under the law on counteracting fake news

A man was given a month’s prison for a video where it was alleged that the police had arrived at the scene of the crime insufficiently quickly.

Holiday pictures AP
Holiday pictures AP

In Malaysia, the first person was convicted under the law on counteracting fake news. The man was imprisoned for a month because of a video in which he accused the police of reacting too slow to shoot at a Palestinian engineer. This was reported by The Guardian.

The shooting, in which the engineer was killed, occurred on April 21. In a video posted on YouTube, a 46-year-old citizen of Denmark, Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, claimed that the police reacted to the call only after 50 minutes, so the man was not saved.

In response, police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said that the officers took only 8 minutes to arrive at the scene of the crime. In court, Suleiman was accused of disseminating false information about the new Malaysian law on fighting fakes.

The man admitted his guilt and stated that he published the video “at the moment of anger”, but without malicious intent. In court, Suleiman defended himself: he did not have a lawyer.

I agree, I made a mistake. I really apologize to everyone in Malaysia, not just the Malaysian police.

Salah Salem Saleh Suleiman
first convicted for fake news

The maximum penalty for the Malaysian law on fighting fakes is six years in prison and $ 123,000 fine (7.7 million rubles). Suleiman was fined $ 2.5 thousand (157 thousand rubles), but the defendant could not pay it, so he will spend a month in custody.

The law provides for the responsibility for “distributing and creating news, information, data or reports that are false in whole or in part”. It applies not only to individuals, but also to online providers. Moreover, the law applies not only to citizens or publications in Malaysia, but also to those fakes that are created in other countries, if they are somehow connected with the Malaysians.

Critics of the law believe that the government of Malaysia is going to use it in the upcoming elections as a way of political censorship. And the Prime Minister of the country thus wants to deal with the consequences of a major corruption scandal , which revealed that billions of dollars have disappeared from the government fund.

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