The draft law envisaging criminal liability for slander still alive and kicking
On 6 September 2006 State Deputy from the Party of the Regions Vasyl Kiselyov tabled draft law No. 2051 “On introducing amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on establishing criminal liability for slander”. The draft proposed returning an article to the Criminal Code which establishes punishment for slander. It should be noted that the author defines slander as “the circulation of knowingly untruthful stories which dishonour another individual” and suggests imposing liability in the form of a fine up to fifty times the minimum wage before tax or community work for a period up to two hundred hours, or corrective labour for a period of up to one year.
On 14 September the National Commission for the Affirmation of Freedom of Speech and Development of the Information Sphere published a statement which stressed that criminal liability for slander ran counter to the principles of a democratic society and called on Mr Kiselyov to withdraw the draft law.
Despite assurances by representatives of the Party of the Regions in parliament, the draft law has yet to be withdrawn