Sexting is illegal in Mauritius, as simple as that. Sending suggestive photographs, spreading them on online social networks and elsewhere, even receiving these pictures are considered to be an offense. Exorbitant fines are to be paid if one is caught doing such, and one faces the risk of imprisonment as well.
According to the Director of Public Prosecutions, young girls in a relationship have the propensity to send suggestive photos of them to their boyfriends – what is called sexting. Ouch. Well, love makes one do quite many a feat, right? Love and lust coupled makes for fiery potions, who can deny that? Though, trouble begins when love turns into indifference, or even hate – when feelings of vengeance take over an ex-lover.
When love relationships end into fiascos, some guys ‘get even’ with their ex-girlfriends by posting the compromising pictures of the latter on online social networks, or even, having the photographs circulated among students of schools.
What is to be brought to the attention of the public is that these practices are illegal. According to the article 46(h) of the Information and Communication Technologies Act (ICTA), “Any person who uses an information and communication service, including telecommunication service for the transmission or reception of a photograph which is indecent, commits an offence.” Uh-oh. Indecent pictures cannot be circulated in any circumstance.
Anyone breaking the rules is liable to paying a fine of up to Rs 1 million, and might even face a 5-year imprisonment sentence.
Another law spelling out the illegality of the matter is the article 15 of the Child Protection Act: the offender is to pay a fine of Rs 25 000 and he also faces the risk of an additional 20-year of imprisonment. This concerns anyone who spreads indecent pictures of children of less than 18 years old.
Such cases are not reported to the police as often because of the social implications. However, on the Internet, specially Facebook and Twitter, the young people make the most use out of the technologies to speak of their sexting incidents..
Now, wait, what? If someone sends such pictures to his spouse, is it still considered to be illegal? Or, if someone inadvertently receives the suggestive photographs on his mobile phone, will it still be an offence? Maybe, now with increasing advancement in technology, the laws need to adapt to the trend?