A cybersecurity official in the Ghanaian police force has cautioned women and girls against using digital devices to take and share intimate pictures.
The assistant commissioner of police, Dr. Gustav Herbert Yankson, who is the director of the Cybercrime Unit at the CID Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service, gave the warning while speaking at an event in Accra that commemorated the 2021 International Day of the Girl Child.
“Do not take nude pictures or videos of yourself and do not share such contents to your partner, not even your husband,” said Yankson.
“The problem is the phone could be hacked, stolen or get damaged and may need to be taken to the repair shop, and before you know it, your nudity is circulating everywhere.”
Sharing nudes online, including on social media platforms, can result in a fine of between $5,200 and $10,000 for Ghanaians.
Under the country’s Cybersecurity Act 2020, an individual who publishes indecent images of children or adults can be imprisoned for up to 25 years.
The law also stipulates that an individual convicted of threatening to circulate a victim’s nude photos or videos unless they receive a payment from the victim can be sentenced to between 10 and 25 years in prison.
In April, Ghanaian actress Akuapem Poloo was sentenced to 90 days in prison for the publication of “obscene material and domestic violence.”
Police arrested Poloo over a picture that she posted to her Instagram feed in June 2020. The image showed Poloo taking a bath with her seven-year-old son.
It was accompanied by the message: “I’m naked in front of you because this is how naked I was giving birth to you, so in case you find me naked lying somewhere don’t pass by me but rather see me as your mom who brought you to life. Happy birthday to you @sonof_poloo.”
In an interview with Onua TV’s Captain Smart, the actress said she did not realize what she had done was a crime and had never heard of anyone being arrested for it.
“When we were children, we bathed with our mothers. I saw my mother’s nakedness,” said Poloo.