Cyber Crime Law in Iraq Revoked

Scanned, stamped Arabic document

Good news from Iraq! A recently released document shows that on January 22, 2013, a request was made by the parliamentary Culture and Media Committee—and approved by the Speaker of the House—to revoke the Cyber Crime Law.

The draft law threatened Internet freedoms by criminalizing certain types of speech and proscribing disproportionate punishments, including life imprisonment for “using computers to ‘harm the reputation’ or affect the ‘unity’ of the country,” as explained in a March 2012 blogpost by ACCESS Now. Read the full Arabic draft of the law.

Here are the details of the document (translated from the picture):

“We inform you that our committee attended several conferences and panel discussions of the Cyber Crime draft law at the recently organized UNESCO meeting in Baghdad. Most of the debates were against this proposed law. We consider it as a decline of freedom of speech in Iraq. And therefore, our committee suggested to stop the legislation because it is outdated and because the security situation has improved since the government sent the draft law to the committee. We don’t want to pass this law because it will be a negative indication of the committee’s work. We request that this bill be removed from the website.”

Note that even though the Speaker of the House has approved the revocation of the law, Parliament still must vote to finalize the withdrawal of the law from consideration.

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