Digital Desk Staff

The Minister for Justice will bring proposals to Cabinet next week which would make the sharing of sexual images without consent a criminal offence.

Helen McEntee is due to bring amendments to a bill drafted by Labour’s Brendan Howlin before senior ministers next Tuesday after thousands of sexual images of Irish women were leaked from private online forums in recent days.

In a series of tweets, Minister McEntee said she shares the “anger and upset” of the situation.

The leak has been described by campaigners as “shocking” and “sexual abuse”.

A petition to make imaged-based sexual abuse illegal has also reached almost 50,000 signatures.

The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill would make it illegal to distribute intimate images and carry a prison term of up to seven years.

Ms McEntee said the Bill is due to come before the Dáil next month.

Earlier, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties said it is deeply troubled by the publication of the images and called for Irish laws to be updated.

The organisation said the creation or distribution of private sexual images without consent is image-based sexual abuse.

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