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Palestinians petition against PA’s Electronic Crimes Law

October 2, 2017 at 9:14 am

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The Palestinian National Cooperation Committee for Defence on Public Freedoms yesterday launched a petition calling for Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas to cancel the Electronic Crimes Law which he issued in July, Safa reported.

The petition, which was launched in a press conference held in the head office of the Network of the Palestinian NGOs in Ramallah, included the signatures of hundreds of Palestinian NGOs, political movements and coalitions.

In addition to the launch of the petition, the committee called for citizens to come out to call for the controversial law to be repealed on 10 October.

The action comes after measures taken by the organisations to have the law amended failed, the committee explained.

Member of the Network of the Palestinian NGOs Majda Al-Masri said the Electronic Crimes Law violates the law as it quashes people’s rights to freedom of speech and expression.

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Amnesty International described the law as a “dangerous escalation in attacks on freedom of expression.”

The Electronic Crime Law is thought to be a means through which the PA can crack down on online dissent in the occupied territories, where social media is a popular platform for debate.

According to the law, anyone who is seen “disturbing social harmony” on social media faces being sentenced to 15 years of hard labour, according to the decree ratified by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.