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Iraq: Kurdistan Criminalizes Misuse of Communication Devices

(June 2, 2008) On May 19, 2008, the National Council (parliament) of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq unanimously adopted a law to punish those who use cellular telephones to annoy or cause harm to other persons. The law provides for punishment of six months to five years of imprisonment or a fine of from one to five million Iraqi dinar (1173 dinars=US$1) as punishment for anyone convicted of using communication devices of any kind to threaten, curse, or publish personal conversations or photographs. Local media have published daily reports about women attacked by relatives on suspicion of contacting or being contacted by strangers. (Imprisonment for Those Using Cellular Telephones in Kurdistan Iraq, ALJAZEERA, May 20, 2008.)