Dane first to be convicted under Malaysian fake news law

Danish man first person to be charged, convicted under Anti-Fake News Act

Fake News Law: Malaysia convicts first person under controversial legislation

Police said they took eight minutes to respond to the shooting in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Judge Zaman Mohd Noor sentenced Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, 46, after the accused, wearing glasses, a white robe, and a green skullcap pleaded guilty to the charges, read out in English.

Bangkok, April 30, 2018-In a verdict with grave implications for press freedom, a Malaysian court today handed down the nation's first conviction under its recently enacted "fake news" law, according to press reports.

The "fake news" legislation makes the deliberate dissemination of false information punishable by up to six years in jail and a hefty fine.

Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman was detained April 23, two days after he claimed in a YouTube video that he was with a Palestinian man who was gunned down by two assailants on a motorcycle.

The accused, who is of Yemeni descent, was charged with publishing fake news with malicious intentions in a video posted on a YouTube account under the name "Salah Sulaiman". "I agreed I made a mistake.I seriously apologise to everybody in Malaysia, not just in the Malaysian police", Sulaiman said. Batsh was a member of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Sulaiman said he was on a 10-day visit to the country when he was arrested.

The court sentenced Salah to a week in jail, including time already served since his arrest on April 23, and a fine of 10,000 ringgit (about US $2,500), but he chose to serve a month behind bars in lieu of paying the fine.

Salah reportedly said he didn't have money to pay the fine and will have to serve another month in jail instead.

The Anti-Fake News Act can be applied to either video or audio and is meant to target "news, information, data and reports which is or are wholly or partly false". "The risky precedent should be overturned and this ill-conceived law repealed for the sake of press freedom".

Malaysia is among the first few countries to legislate policing of fake news.

A Malaysian media company filed a suit seeking to declare the law unconstitutional.

Governments elsewhere in Southeast Asia, including Singapore and the Philippines, have also proposed laws aimed at clamping down on the spread of "fake news", to the dismay of media rights advocates.

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