Court orders Ukrainska Pravda to refute comment left by reader



In a potentially dangerous precedent, the Kyiv Court of Appeal has ordered the Internet publication Ukrainska Pravda to retract information in a comment posted by somebody else on their site. The ruling applies also to the publishing company Justinian.

The defamation suit which was heard on 14 February was brought by Oleksandr Syvolapenko and the limited liability company Eurotrasgrup and orders retraction of a comment apparently made by a person (named in the report) in the “Complaints and suggestions” section of the «Юстініан» site and in the People’s blogs page («Народні блоги» ) of Ukrainska Pravda.

Ludmila Ohryshko from the Regional Press Development Institute calls the ruling unprecedented and says that it fails to take European Court of Human Rights case law into account. This is a dangerous precedent, she adds, since liability is being placed on the owners of websites for individual readers’ comments on material posted.

The ruling will be appealed in the High Administrative Court. 

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