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Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights calls on the Iraqi Council of Representatives not to ratify the cybercrime law because it is very broad and restricts the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

In a statement released today, Friday, Skyline says it is seriously considering reintroducing the Iraqi Cybercrime Bill in the House of Representatives at the request of the Iraqi Government and sees it as a new attempt to keep quiet despite the widespread opposition it has encountered since its earlier introduction.

In this regard, Skyline has seen the message of Dr. "Hayam Al-Yasiri", Minister of Communications, to the Iraqi Parliament dated November 13, 2022, in which she calls for the acceleration of the legislation of the law that the Ministry had prepared in draft in 2011 and that has not been passed until today.

The letter notes that the request is made because of the great importance of this law in regulating social media and protecting Iraqi families from electronic extortion, as well as protecting Iraq's social fabric and maintaining the security of communications and information

Skyline calls for a revision of the cybercrime bill to rid it of vague and restrictive provisions on freedom of expression and speech.

Skyline also stresses that the passage of the law in its current form contradicts the basic legal obligations to which Iraq has committed itself under its current constitution and its international obligations, as it legitimizes the arrest of journalists and bloggers who seek to expose files on corruption and humanitarian issues against the government and judicial authorities.

It became apparent that many of the law's provisions were general in nature and used broad terminology that could be interpreted and thus used to silence opponents and undermine media, press, and publication freedoms.

Skyline states that the legal reviews it conducted of the draft law, as well as the numerous legal reviews conducted by various human rights organizations, concluded that the law represents a new restriction on freedom of opinion and expression and legitimizes the silencing of mouths and the arrest of journalists and bloggers.

Accordingly, Skyline again calls on the Iraqi Parliament to refrain from ratifying and approving the law; and to launch a national discussion with relevant institutions to reformulate the law and abolish all loose terms and restrictions that affect freedom of opinion, expression and publication.