Assembly approves changes relating to individual’s privacy rights


17-August-2012


Members approved the changes relating to six sections which extend the protection to the right to privacy of an individual as afforded by the Constitution and other laws of Seychelles.

Home Affairs and Transport Minister Joel Morgan presented the amendments to the assembly.

As the amendments have been approved, it is now an offence to observe or visually record another person, in circumstances whereby that person would expect to be afforded privacy. It is therefore an offence to visually record another person without that person’s consent and when the other person is in a private place or engaging in a private act.

It also becomes an offence when the observation or visual recording is made for the purpose of observing or visually recording a private act.

It is also an offence for a person to observe or visually record another person’s private parts, in circumstances where a person would expect to be afforded privacy in relation to his or her private parts.

Observing or visually recording another person’s private parts is an offence when it has been done without the other person’s consent and when the observation or visual recording is made for the purpose of observing or visually recording the other person’s private parts.

Possessing a prohibited visual recording of another person having reason to believe it to be a prohibited visual recording, without the other person’s consent, is also an offence.

Presenting another amendment, Minister Morgan said a person who distributes a prohibited visual recording of another person having reason to believe it to be a prohibited visual recording, without the other person’s consent, commits an offence.

A person who commits all of these offences is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 20 years.

On the other hand, a person is not criminally responsible for an offence against the amendments mentioned if the person is, at the time of the offence, a law enforcement officer acting in the course of the person’s duties, and if the person’s conduct is reasonable in the circumstances for the performance of the duties.

Mr Morgan said the aim of these amendments is for the law to react to ensure protection of the rights to privacy of each individual.

He said public opinion clearly shows that it is not acceptable for individuals to have in their possession visual recordings of another person without authorisation.

Mr Morgan said the government feels that it is in the interest of all citizens that these amendments have been made so that each individual can have the protection and the right to privacy.

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