The Palestinian Authority has handed down a decree, reportedly written by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, which implements what is described as a cyber crime law, but in reality targets social media postings that are critical of the local government.The penalties are indeed Draconian.
The new law provides for a maximum penalty of fifteen years for posting any social media content deemed offensive by the PA. The punishment call for imprisonment at hard labor, with sentences ranging from three to fifteen years*. The grounds, which are definitely overly broad, are listed as "harming national unity or social harmony." This means that social media posters who come down hard on the PA on any grounds, could be summarily convicted, and imprisoned.
* Palestinian journalists can be sentenced to as much as life in prison, for publishing articles the government considers objectionable, including those stories that expose corrupt officials.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant