PECA law continues to target disadvantaged groups in Pakistan
Pakistan and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
In Pakistan, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) law adopted in 2016 continues to undermine disadvantaged communities (The Print, 2022). Particularly, the amendment made to the PECA law on February 18th, 2022 sparked the local and international outcry even more (Geo News, 2022). Civil society activisits believe that the law as well as the amendment empower those in power more and more and undermine democratic principles (The Print, 2022).
A further criticism that Pakistani authorities have received from local and international rights activists is that the government did not take any action when many conservative individuals and groups made fake photos and videos targeting Aurat March activists (The Print, 2022). Social media companies have neglected this issue as well (The Print, 2022).
Ethnic and religious minorities have experienced similar issues particularly since the PECA 2016 brought Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to the digital sphere (The Print, 2022). Moreover, Pakistani authorities have also proposed Facebook and Twitter to assist the government when it comes to identifying people making blasphemous remarks on Islam on their platforms (The Print, 2022).
Sources and further reading:
Geo News. (2022). Human Rights Watch rejects PECA, calls it draconian cyber law. Geo News. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.geo.tv/latest/402124-human-rights-watch-rejects-peca-calls-it-draconian-cyber-law
The Print. (2022, May 11). PECA law goes on to intimidate Pakistan’s marginalized communities. The Print. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://theprint.in/world/peca-law-goes-on-to-intimidate-pakistans-marginalized-communities/951468/