Iraqi government approves draft freedom of expression bill

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The Iraqi cabinet said Thursday (January 26th) that it approved a draft law on the "freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration in Iraq".

Ali al-Musawi, the cabinet's media advisor, told Al-Shorfa that the law "gives Iraqis the right to peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression of opinion, political and intellectual opposition, provided others' rights are not violated or assaulted".

He said the law would not impose any restrictions on the internet or news outlets, or prevent peaceful a demonstration unless it undermines security.

"Foreign experts from the UN office, Iraqi academics, international and local legislators specialized in this field helped with the law," he said.

Al-Musawi said the "government has also taken international standards and constitutional provisions into consideration".

The law establishes penalties for individuals, including security personnel, who violate the freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate.

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