Algeria/virus: misinformation is a “capital sin”

Algérie/virus: la désinformation est un « péché capital »

The dissemination of false information that may “harm to the citizen and the society” in these times of pandemic is ” illegal “, warns a fatwa published on Wednesday on the website of the ministry of religious Affairs in Algeria, where there are many rumors about the new coronavirus.

According to the ministerial Committee of fatwas, the pandemic of novel coronavirus ” requires us to be doubly careful “, even if, usually, the caution was already required in the dissemination of information.

“It is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, and propagate false information. These lies are part of the deadly sins “, warns in a press release the Committee of fatwas, which met on Wednesday.

This last judge that we should not disseminate unverified information, in order not to contribute to spreading rumors that can spread ” fear and panic “.

This instance of religious believes that ” the one who is not expert in a domain must be silent in order not to hurt you.”

On 19 march, the president Abdelmadjid Tebboune had called for ” struggle daily against the campaigns of disinformation through the dissemination of scientific data in an integral manner on the evolution of the spread of the pandemic (…), in order to reassure citizens and encourage them to comply with the measures of prevention “.

Many rumours have been circulating, mainly on social networks, on the spread of the Covid-19 in Algeria or some of the measures the algerian government.

Thus, on Wednesday, the service stations have been taken over by motorists after a rumor stating their future closure due to sars coronavirus.

The department of Energy had to publish a retraction and an officer of the public enterprise for distribution of fuel from Naftal went on tv to deny the information.

An Algerian man was recently arrested and faces a sentence of imprisonment for spreading false information on patients infected have fled a hospital.

The committee of the fatwa was decided on 17 march, the closure of all mosques and places of worship in the country, and a ban on collective prayers in the fight against the epidemic.

A total of 846 cases of Covid-19, including 58 deaths, have been officially declared to date in Algeria.

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