President ignores call to veto law on pornography


President Yushchenko has signed the law “On amendments to Article 301 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code” which introduces criminal liability for possession of pornographic material. in order to sell or circulate it Information that the law had been returned on 26 June with the President’s signature appeared on the website of the Verkhovna Rada, however it is still not available on the President’s site.

As reported here, human rights activists and cultural figures initiated an appeal to the President to use his power of veto on the Law. In just a few days before being sent to the President, the appeal was endorsed by over 200 people. 

Very briefly, the Law fails to achieve its stated objective, of introducing measures required under Ukraine’s international commitments to combat child pornography. Instead it introduces criminal liability for possession, and while this is supposedly restricted to possession in order to sell or circulate it, the scope for abuse is vast, and the justification in such interference in adults’ private activities hardly warranted in a democratic society. 

It is frustrating that the legislators have yet again opted for fine words and incompetent measures, and have not addressed the extremely important task of fighting child pornography.

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