Censorship in Iraq

The Iraqi government is drafting a law that would ban internet sites and books which the government  believes violate “public order and morality”.  Internet cafes would have to register with the government, which would monitor sites and punish those who allowed access to forbidden ones, and book publishers would be required to submit a complete list of their books and a description of their subject matter and also agree not to publish books that the government deems “offensive”.

The proposed censorship laws appear similar to those in force in other Middle Eastern countries, where authoritarian regimes ban media that are critical of the government and imprison those who violate the restrictive laws under the guise of protecting public order and morality.  The level of vigilance with which the Iraqi government enforces the censorship statutes will determine how oppressive they are.  Hopefully the state will not suppress freedom of speech like it did under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.

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