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17.09.2006

“Party of the Regions to withdraw the draft law imposing criminal liability for slander”

   

This was stated in an interview to Radio Svoboda by State Deputy from the Party of the Regions Olena Lukash.

“I don’t always like what the press writes, it is not always true. However not to grant it the chance to say it, and more to bring criminal charges, particularly since we already have such experience, negative experience, since an article on slander existed in the Criminal Code and was removed, it is completely unnecessary.

I am not speaking too strongly.  I have explained my position. I had a conversation on this subject with Mr Kiselyov, with Adam Martynyuk, as of today the draft law is being withdrawn, it will not be considered.”

On the eve of this State Deputy from the Party of the Regions Vasyl Kiselyov initiated the reintroduction of a draft law which envisages criminal liability or community work for slander or insults.

Journalists called the deputies’ initiative pressure on the mass media and organized a public campaign “Hands off freedom!” which includes blocking this draft law.

Translator’s note :  The National Commission for the Affirmation of Freedom of Speech and Development of the Information Sphere also expressed its concern at this retrograde step on 15 September.  It stressed that it ran counter to the principles of freedom of speech and to standards accepted by the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe and OSCE

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