Saudi Arabia Announces Legal Penalties For Fake News

December 7, 2016

On December 5, 2016, it was reported that the government of Saudi Arabia had issued a warning to members of the country’s media institutions that “tough legal action” would result in the event of publishing of false news content. The warning came in response to several news outlets publishing a fake news story claiming that Prince Abdullah bin Musaed bin Abdul Aziz had been fired as the president of the kingdom’s General Authority of Sports.

Attorney Majed Garoub stated that any “media error” committed online would be considered a cyber crime and would be punishable by law. He clarified that sanctions against organizations would not be applicable to individuals, who would instead be subject to a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail or up to 5 million Saudi rial ($1.3 million) in fines. Garoub also stated that anybody who recirculates or retweets a false rumor will be found guilty as if the source had posted the content originally.

Source:, December 5, 2016