Iraq reverses Telegram ban after a week
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq reversed its decision to ban Telegram, which will be operating again in the country, starting Sunday, per a communication ministry statement.
The Ministry of Communications last week announced that it had banned the popular social media platform over data privacy and “national security” concerns.
The lift came at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani and the company’s willingness to cooperate with security authorities to prevent data leakage, the Ministry’s statement noted.
The Iraqi government has asked the social media platform several times to thwart data leakage, concerning state institutions and individuals, the ministry previously complained.
The decision drew widespread condemnations from active users, including those from Iranian-backed militia channels that have a significant presence on the platform.
One of the channels, known as Sabreen News, which has over 330,000 subscribers, slammed the decision, describing it as “restricting freedom of expression”.
Telegram has been previously banned in a number of other countries over similar concerns. Brazil suspended the app in April after it had failed to provide data on neo-Nazi groups.
Iraq has been previously criticized by rights groups for restricting freedom of speech and proposing bills that would drastically affect freedoms.