Press Association warns against legislative risk to press freedom
The Ukrainian Association of Press Publishers [UAPP] has issued a protest to the heads of parliamentary profile committees, the Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee, as well as to the heads of parliamentary factions. It is concerned over the passing in its first reading of a draft law which envisages criminal liability for violations of legislation on public morality (Draft Law No. 1340 from 15.05.2008.
“This law – its statement reads – cannot be passed on the grounds that it uses the imperfect terminology of the Law “On the Protection of Public Morality”. If the draft law is passed, the editors and journalists of men’s and women’s newspapers and journals, as well as tabloids and mass circulation entertainment publications could be under thre.at. The passing into law of these amendments to the Criminal Code would mean the closure of whole segments of the market in printed press.”
[The draft law in question appears to be concentrating on “erotic” and “pornographic” material, however repeats infringements to the Law on public morality. The terminology in this law leaves vast and worrying scope for arbitrary or highly subjective interpretations See “Unforeseeable immorality below for examples) ].