Iraq has banned the term ‘homosexuality’ from use in media. They must call it ‘sexual deviance’ instead.

The order is not yet official, but was released on Tuesday from Iraq’s official regulator of media, the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (CMC). All media and social media companies operating in Iraq must cease using words like “homosexuality,” “homosexual,” and “gender” in any context. All phone and internet companies licensed in Iraq are also forbidden to use thee terms in any mobile applications.

Homosexuality is not explicitly illegal in Iraq, but the country’s penal code includes a loosely-defined morality clause that has been used to target and persecute members of the LGBT community. In recent months, major political parties in Iraq have stepped up their attacks on LGBT rights, perhaps bolstered by similar actions in the United States.

The CMC “directs media organizations … not to use the term ‘homosexuality’ and to use the correct term ‘sexual deviance’,” says the Arabic-language document, still waiting final approval. There has been no penalty set yet for violations, but it will likely be a fine.

Religious leaders in Iraq are allowed to publicly call for the death of LGBT people, but not to call them homosexuals under the new directive.

Aya Majzoub, an Iraqi LGBTI activist leader, in a statement, called the Iraqi media regulator’s order “the latest in a series of attacks on freedom of expression under the guise of respect for ‘public morals,'” blasting it as a “dangerous move that can fuel discrimination and violent attacks against members of the LGBTI community.”

Iraq is one of the 57 U.N. member states who cosponsored a statement opposing hearing anything about LGBT rights in the U.N. General Assembly. Their attack on LGBT language will absolutely not stop there – it is an open statement they want to re-criminalize same-sex sexual acts and gender nonconformity.