The Crime of Abusing from Media and Social Media

Karzan Mohamad PhD
Journalist & University Lecturer

Nowadays a common crime is seen via the media and social media by using different types of insult through statements and expressions that concern someone or a party. Thus, abusing causes conflict and trouble frequently, it is prohibited according to the world and Kurdistan law and it is crime, it passes through the freedom of speech since it harms human appreciation and honor.

Abusing is a statement that injures someone’s emotion and sense or scratches the publicity of a person or a political party; it can be oral or signal, it might be conducted via face to face or telephone call, the crime evaluates according to the harm of the offense.

The Iraqi penal code defines abusing clearly in the article (434) which it says, insult another, including directing abuse which compromises their honor and status, or offends them, the publication of such abuse is an aggravating circumstance.

Criminal sanction for defamation in the media and social media, currently, a great number of journals and magazines are publishing, varieties of radio and T.V channels are broadcasting and a tremendous number of pages and accounts of social media possess in Kurdistan Region. Any journal or magazine has to be reviewed accurately by the editor before publishing; the legal and public responsibilities are on the shoulder of the editor. The T.V channels and radio presenters have to follow the law and journalism ethics because there is no justification for committing crimes intentionally or unintentionally.

Concerning the live stream programs either from T.V or radio, if someone insults on the phone call the presenter have to hang up the call and says sorry, it is not permitted abuse and saying misuse words against people in this place because it is not allowed the inappropriate statements cross the freedom of expression. If the T.V or radio program is broadcasted, it is a legal responsibility to silence or cut that part which causes to spread the crimes.

People usually ask me this question; does the owner of Facebook and Instagram responsible when we post an image or a topic and the participants write an inappropriate comment or insult us? In my opinion, as far as, the journal or magazine editors take that responsibility, the account owners have the same responsibility as well, because they can control the comments and erase them. About the pages, the owner of the page can recommend someone to filter the comments in order to not let people abuse and cross the legal and legitimate values of humanity.

Doing complaint, the level and type of penal

Anyone or concerning side like company, institution, etc. has such a right to complain through the legal agencies when faced defamation, within three months the legal agent can complaint to compensate the moral and material cons, the court focuses on some principles such as the reputation of the person who abused to other, the level of harm, the media instrument’s capacity for broadcasting, for instance, if a person insults another on T.V his crime is bigger than another one who abuses via mobile and if the abuser has a famous status in the community his/her crime is greater than an ordinary person.

In order to protect human respect from communication devices Kurdistan Region has approved law N. (6) about preventing the misuse of communication devices in the Kurdistan Region in 2008, to decrease and challenge the cyber-crimes.

Article 2nd of the law mentions, if someone uses a communication device wired or wireless badly, internet or electronic post to threaten or accusing or insulting another to cause fear, sharing a message or an image which is not adapted with the public behavior, or shared without permission, the doer will be arrested for not less than 6 months and more than 5 years and its fine no less than (1) million dinar and no more than (5) million dinars.

Also, article (5th) states if someone committed such crimes that mentioned in (2nd and 3rd) articles, the person belongs to the armed forces or local security forces. Despite the fine for abusing, the complainant will compensate morally or materially, the court charges the professionals to decide about the amount of the detriments.


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