A new Qatar legislation makes capturing and sharing accident photos or videos punishable by up to 2 years in jail and hefty fines.
4 April 2017| Last updated on 6 April 2017
A new legislation has been approved in Qatar that imposes jail time and fines for any person caught taking, recording or sharing photos and videos of accident victims.
The new Law No. 4 of 2017 changes some provisions about breaching other’s privacy without obtaining their consent first. The penalty has been increased from one to two years in jail and the fine doubles, reaching up to QR10,000.
It also adds a provision about taking or transmitting photos or videos of accident victims as well as of any person in a public place with the goal of using it for defamation or abuse.
This change comes after discussions has gone on for at least two years.
A legislation criminalising the act of taking photos of the deceased or injured without permission was approved back in 2015. Last year, the legislation was revived, even though such acts are already punishable under the privacy and cybercrime laws of the country.
It’s speculated that the discussions were sparked after two high-profile cases took place in 2015. Many residents might remember how in October 2015 there was a video circulating of a deadly traffic accident involving two teens and a sewage tanker.
The person who filmed and shared that video was arrested at the time. The same happened a month later to two people who posted a video of a man crashing into a Rolls Royce in front of a hotel.
Other laws to be mindful of
- Posting news, photos, videos or audio recordings violating people's private life or values (even if true) is subject to criminal sanctions.
- Online insults, slanders, threats and blackmail are all illegal and punshable by law.
- Promotion, dissemination or publishing of false news that threatens the safety and security of the State or its public order by any person who runs a website is a criminal act.