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Iran cyberpolice arrest 24 over coronavirus rumors

Iranian cyberpolice arrest 24 people accused of online rumor-mongering about the spread of the coronavirus in the country, semi-official news agency ISNA reports on Wednesday.

The Islamic Republic has been battling to control an outbreak of the coronavirus that has claimed 19 lives among 139 infections in the past week.

“Twenty-four people were arrested and handed over to the judiciary and 118 (internet) users were talked to and let go” after receiving warnings, says Vahid Majid, head of the Iranian police force’s cyber unit.

The arrests were carried out after the establishment of a special unit to “combat rumor-mongers regarding the ‘spread of coronavirus in the country,'” he is quoted as saying.

“The police are monitoring all the news published in the country’s cyberspace.”

Majid says the unit would take action over news, pictures or videos that “contain rumors or fake news meant to disturb the public and increase concern in society.”

AFP

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