A report by Human Rights Watch said, Saturday, that the Iraqi parliament will stop pushing the cybercrime bill until after it has been amended so as to protect freedom of expression and not violate it .
The report stated that "the law would have allowed the Iraqi authorities to prosecute anyone for any social media or Internet publication they do not like by arbitrarily considering the content as a threat to government, social or religious interests." According to the report
He added, “The organization analyzed the draft law and warned of its ability to punish opponents in civil society. The draft law also proposes wide-ranging restrictions on electronic communication, and criminalizes a wide range of vaguely defined activities while including provisions to prosecute anyone who is alleged to undermine“ economic interests or Political, military, or supreme security of the country .
He continued, "The harsh penalties contained in the law include provisions that contain heavy fines and prison sentences that can have a frightening effect on freedom of expression ."
He explained that "the bill failed to pass in 2011 and was submitted to Parliament in 2019, while it was discussed again in November of 2020 before it was raised again in December of the same year ."
The report stated that “Human Rights Watch opposed the bill due to its ability to suppress dissent, and in June of 2020, the organization published a report on the various laws that the Iraqi government uses to suppress critical voices and documented the arrest and mistreatment of journalists and activists, who felt that the government targeted them to intimidate critics. Others ”.
The report indicated that “the trials of critics, journalists and activists under the Iraqi defamation and incitement laws have greatly increased the problematic during the Corona pandemic, and this new law will make matters worse, while the Iraqi government has not yet submitted an amended version of the law to Parliament.”
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]