Punitive action for online obscenity

indecentNabilah Haris

INDIVIDUALS can be punished for sharing or posting obscene images online under the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, said a legal Syarie officer yesterday.

Noor Diana Hj Awang said individuals can be charged with indecent behaviour, as posting obscene images has elements that can incite negative influences.

During a Syariah law briefing for staff from the Ministry of Development, she explained individuals can be brought to court as social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook are considered part of the public sphere.

“Uploading (images of) themselves or others in indecent clothing, and not necessarily only clothing, but also images of indecent acts on online platforms are considered to have entered the public sphere as anyone can access them,” she added.

The legal Syarie officer was responding to a question raised on indecent clothing during the question and answer session of the briefing.

The question raised the issue of a popular topic of discussion among members of the public regarding clothing, and the action that would be taken if images were uploaded online.

Under Section 197 on indecent behaviour of the Syariah Penal Code Order, any person who commits an act of indecent behaviour in a public place is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both. An act is considered indecent if it taints the image of Islam, corrupts moral standards, and has negative influences or upsets onlookers. Anyone who organises, persuades or encourages others to commit any act of indecent behaviour is also guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $8,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

The first of the three-phased Syariah Penal Code Order will be enforced on April 22.

Also present at yesterday’s briefing at the Work Skills Training and Testing Centre was Development Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman.

The Brunei Times
Sun, April 6, 2014




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