Pak­istan cy­ber­crime bill raises free-speech ques­tions

Fiji Sun - - World News - Jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Islamabad: Ques­tions of free speech are be­ing raised af­ter Pak­istan’s lower house of par­lia­ment passed a cy­ber­crime bill de­spite wide­spread op­po­si­tion from civil rights ac­tivists and some mem­bers of par­lia­ment. The Pre­ven­tion of Elec­tronic Crimes Bill 2015 (PECB) was hur­riedly passed in the Na­tional Assem­bly with only 30 of the 342 mem­bers present last Thurs­day. The move comes dur­ing a week where par­lia­men­tary de­bates were pri­mar­ily fo­cused on Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif’s fam­ily be­ing named in the Panama Pa­pers.

The bill is aimed at pre­vent­ing on­line ha­rass­ment, cy­ber stalk­ing and black­mail­ing and seeks to crim­i­nalise those in­volved in th­ese of­fences, ac­cord­ing to Anusha Rah­man, ju­nior min­is­ter for in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Al Jazeera

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