Electronic armies" sponsored by Iran and its militias threaten activists and the security of Iraq
Iraqi activists, journalists and bloggers face a campaign of accusations and threats through anonymous Internet accounts and suspected links to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] backed factions in a politically divided country.
According to the agencies, political parties, armed factions and officials in Iraq have benefited from so-called "electronic armies" for years for propaganda purposes or, on the contrary, ridicule and attack their critics.
But these online rivalries have increased in recent months as tensions between the United States and Iran, supporters of the Iraqi government, escalate and sometimes turn into death threats. There has been no actual attack so far.
Since the middle of last July, it hits five weapons stores and camps belonging to the forces of the popular crowd backed by [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for the bombings or raids. The PMF blamed Israel and the United States.
The accusation opened the way for an online campaign against a wide range of Iraqi citizens accused of collaborating with Israel and the United States.
The pages, whose owners do not know the list of names and pictures of bloggers and a book that read: "Some of these bloggers do not know the real objectives of the project of creating a collective Iraqi awareness of normalization with Israel, and they worked for money only."
A number of prominent journalists were included in the list, including journalist Omar al-Shaher, researcher and writer Hisham al-Hashemi, journalist and writer Ali Wajih, cartoonist Ahmed Falah, presenter Jumana Mumtaz, prominent blogger Shujaa Fares, journalist Reda al-Shammari, and activists Steven Nabil and Saqr Al Zakaria. And Hussein Ali, and Omar Mohammed.
Following this escalation, blogger Ali Wajih sent a letter to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, saying that for years, we, a group of media and bloggers, have been inciting to kill us from bloggers and pages that indicate that they are close to or affiliated with the Commission.
" Local interests and entrenched rivalries have been integrated into ongoing tensions between the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] -led resistance axis on the one hand and the United States, Israel and its allies in the region," said Venar Haddad, an [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] expert at the National University of Singapore .[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
"The message is clear: if you oppose us, you will be killed," says historian Omar Mohammed, who has documented the atrocities in Mosul under the Islamic State.
He adds in a call to Agence France-Presse from outside [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] that he doubted that the new charges came «as a result of recent Israeli air strikes and US-Iranian tensions», pointing out that «institutional and professional. "There seems to be a team that specializes in dehumanizing us."
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, an independent media rights advocacy organization, expressed concern that such incitement could lead to real violence. He said in a statement that «unidentified incitement to kill Iraqi journalists and prominent writers, and charged them charges that are not based on reality,».
He added: "The phenomenon of electronic armies has reached dangerous levels," noting that it issued threats, including incitement to violence and hatred.
The statement criticized the continued silence of the authorities so far, including the judiciary, in the clear abandonment of their responsibilities when it comes to cybercrime.
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