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Pakistan president Asif Zardari bans jokes ridiculing him

Isambard Wilkinson
London Telegraph [1]
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pakistan’s president, Asif Zardari, has been accused of suffering from a sense of humour failure after banning jokes ridiculing him.

Pakistanis who send jokes about Asif Zardari by text message, email or blog risk being arrested and given a 14-year prison sentence.

The country’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, announced the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been asked to trace electronically transmitted jokes that “slander the political leadership of the country” under the new Cyber Crimes Act.

Mr Malik, said the move would punish the authors of “ill motivated and concocted stories through emails and text messages against the civilian leadership”.

The step, which was described by human rights groups as “draconian and authoritarian”, came after government was particularly riled by a barrage of caustic jokes being sent to the presidency’s official email.

Full article here [1]