IGF 2021 WS #63
Right to criticism Versus Fake news in time of COVID 19

Organizer 1: MOHAMED FARAHAT, Internt Rights and Principles Coliation (IRPC) &Egyptian Foundation For Refugees Rights (EFRR)

Speaker 1: MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Rim Hayat Chaif, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Aicha Jeridi, Civil Society, African Group


MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group

Online Moderator

MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group


MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group


Panel - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Digital policy and human rights frameworks: What is the relationship between digital policy and development and the established international frameworks for civil and political rights as set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and further interpretation of these in the online context provided by various resolutions of the Human Rights Council? How do policy makers and other stakeholders effectively connect these global instruments and interpretations to national contexts? What is the role of different local, national, regional and international stakeholders in achieving digital inclusion that meets the requirements of users in all communities?
Inclusion, rights and stakeholder roles and responsibilities: What are/should be the responsibilities of governments, businesses, the technical community, civil society, the academic and research sector and community-based actors with regard to digital inclusion and respect for human rights, and what is needed for them to fulfil these in an efficient and effective manner?

The right to criticize the public policies is consider as branch of freedom of expression, which guaranteed within different humans right instruments, specifically, article (19) of Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICPPR) 1966. dealing with the right to criticize the taken governmental polices to encounter COVID 19 as a fake news constitute a great abuse to freedom of expression and abuse article (19) of ICCPR. in the same context , targeting people , activists , journalists who circulate information and writs posts about COVID 19, revel on the surveillance practices take place with constitutes abuse to right to privacy.


16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: As the proposed session will discuss topic related to rights to criticism and fake news specially in light of cases of arrest has took place for circulate information about COVID 19 and dealt with this information as national security issue ,so the proposal is directly link to SDG targets specifically:
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels and 16.10
Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements


The Topic :
Circulating information about the outbreak of COVID 19 in MENA region considered as fake news and led to trial some of citizen. Citizens and activists start to monitor the situation and publishing information about the situation of Covide 19 and critics the policies had taken by government to encounter the pandemic through social media .The legislation tools has used to legalizing ban websites and criminalizing right to freedom of expression under what So-called fake news, these practices has increased in time of COVID 19 which dealt as a national security issue So, some bloggers and journalists and doctors who share information about the number of infected people were targeted and Jailed for publishing a piece of fake news. This situation has pose a question about what is the criteria the at distinguish right to criticism from fake news? what is the legal criteria of fake news? what the limitation of using national security as a reason to describe the information as fake news? The proposed topic fit under civic participation and right to share information and access to information which directly linked to online freedom of expression. The session will cover four main topics

1 . the definition of and what is fake news from journalism perspective (By Ms. Rim Chaif , Algerian Journalist)
2. Impact of fake news on national Security (By Ms. Aicha Jaridi Digital rights and IG Tunisian Expert )
3. Best Practice Example from the region: Akbarmeter, Haytham Moans (Egypt)
4. Legal Criteria of Fake news (By. Mohamed Farahat, Egyptian lawyer and digital rights expert)

Expected Outcomes

The initial idea of the session was based on small legal study done by the proposer about the topic. the aim of the session to wide the study and make it comprehensive by tackling the topic from different perspective such as legal , human rights , journalism, and security perspective, specially all speaker are researcher. Therefore, the prosper with speaker produce and long study that cover the different perspective of the topic. conducting this workshop will be an excellent opportunity to hear and discuss nre thoughts , ideas from the participants specially the initial findings of our research in this topic.

10mins opening remarks/introduction/Opening statement by speakers
20 min panel discussion and intervention with moderator probing
10 min first round of comments, questions and discussion from audience (onsite and online)
20 min panel discussion and intervention with moderator probing
10 min Second round of comments, questions from audience (onsite and online)
5 Min closing statements by speakers
15 min open floor discussion for audience with periodic intervals for remote participants

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: The organizers and speakers will use the different social media platforms( Twieeter, Facebook, and mailing lists) to disclose and announce on the session.