A private legal practitioner has said persons found culpable of publishing or sharing nude videos/pictures of both adults and especially children, will be charged under the Interception of Communication Bill.

This, Samson Lardy Anyenini explained is because such persons will be liable to serving a jail term of not less than five years [maximum 10 years] or be made to pay a fine of ¢30,000 minimum with ¢60,000 being the maximum fine.

“There are present laws that are used [to punish people for such crimes] but this one now helps in a more direct way to punish people who try to take indecent images or videos of children or of their partners and try to harass them or try to blackmail them with it,” he told Kojo Yankson on the Super Morning Show, Friday.

The host of JoyNews’ Newsfile explained that, this will help in dealing with child phonography, which is becoming a growing trend in the country.

Mr Anyenini also disclosed that, persons who are found guilty of blackmailing or threatening to circulate indecent images of an adult will be made to serve a jail term of 10 years minimum and 25 years maximum.

“Indecency [in the new law] is so elaborately explained that you can’t escape it: once you’ve taken a picture of that shows the person’s breasts, that shows the nude or in a manner that clearly suggests that, the purpose is a sexual characterisation, then you are looking to go to jail,” he said.

Persons found guilty of sharing nude videos of adult, as stated above, however, do not have any option of fines.

Efforts have been made to check phonography or the sharing of indecent pictures of persons in the country. In Ghana, it is an offence to share indecent pictures of a person, with or without the person’s consent.

The country’s Criminal Code Act, 1960 (Act 29) includes a section on sexual offences which is detailed throughout subsections 97 – 111 (5) of chapter six (1960) which was amended

In 1993, during the 458th act of parliament, amendments to the Criminal Code Act, 1960 in reference to chapter six, subsections 97, 101, and 103 were enacted (Ghana 1993).

In addition, the parliament of Ghana passed legislation in 1998 that further amended the 1960 criminal code to provide additional protection for women and children.

The legislation added new definitions of sexual offences and strengthened punishments for others.

Despite these efforts, circulation of nude pictures has become a growing trend, which is gradually gaining space, especially on social media.

Mr Anyenini is optimistic this trend will drastically reduce, if not completely eradicated with the introduction of the new law.

“There is child pornography and all of these happening, and there are even couples- people who even get into intimate relationships- who begin to blackmail or try to threaten one another with pictures that they have taken.

“If you did any such thing, with seeking to threaten to distribute intimate image or video recording, you could go to jail for a year or maximum three years [That’s for sharing the pictures of videos of adults].

“There’s no option of a fine for that,” he added.

“Again, if you decide to engage in activities that involve sexual abuse of children, and this will include child grooming for sexual abuse, or you are found to be aiding and abetting such things or you were Cyberstalking a child, you could be looking for a jail term of five years minimum or a jail term of 15 years maximum,” he further shared.

He also noted, “if you were doing non-consensual sharing, then you could be looking to going to jail for a minimum of 1 year or maximum three years.”

“This is a new introduction that you did not find in the old one. And this is an introduction that I doubt anyone will not vote for,” he added.