Anybody who spreads fake news about coronavirus will get 3-year sentence: Iranian MP

February 26, 2020 - 16:34

TEHRAN - The spokesman for the judicial and legal affairs committee of the parliament warned on Wednesday that a 3-year sentence has been set for those who spread fake news or rumors about coronavirus in the country. 

“The move has been taken as spreading lies according to the Islamic punishment law based on which those who commit the crime will be sentenced to between one up to three years in jail as well as flogging,” Hassan Norouzi said. 

“Spreading fake news over coronavirus outbreak will people panic. It also will pave the ground for the country’s shutdown,” the lawmaker added.   

On Monday, Ali Rabiei, the government spokesman, condemned any move to politicize the outbreak of coronavirus, scientifically called COVID-19, urging political groups, parties, and media outlets to refrain from making baseless accusations against the Health Ministry officials. 

Rabiei pointed out that outbreak of coronavirus is a health issue and “we must trust the physicians”.

He added, “I have called on the entire political parties, groups and media outlets to refrain from politicizing coronavirus outbreak.”

He said people should help the health sector more than ever and observe Health Ministry’s instructions in their daily life and social activities. 

Coronavirus appeared first in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has since spread globally. The World Health Organization has declared it a global health emergency.

As of Wednesday, the number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran increased to 139, of whom 19 have so far lost their lives.

In a live televised program on Tuesday afternoon, President Hassan Rouhani assured the citizens that the coronavirus outbreak will be controlled in the shortest period of time.

“The people should not be worried and should cooperate as they have cooperated until today,” he said, adding essential guidelines are being issued by the Ministry of Health.

“Our main source is the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. It announces all the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the people must pay attention to them and follow them,” he noted.

Elsewhere, he said that all the people should continue their job while observing hygienic standards.

It is the enemies’ plot to shut down the country through spreading fear, he added.

MJ/PA

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