Stop Censorship! Movement Regards the Law of Defamation as a Way to Political Repression
Stop Censorship! Movement Regards the Law of Defamation as a threat to journalists, bloggers,activists and users of social networks and forums, who only comment on news and it is also a way to political repression.
The members of the Movement think that the first approved reading of the bill might open a way to political repression of independent politicians, journalists and activists.
The Movement calls the journalists to cover this issue in all possible ways to explain the
consequences of the adoption of the Law and calls the leaders of fractions to consider the
irrelevance of the document to recommendations of international organizations, where Ukraine is represented.
Here is the Statement of the Movement:
The Statement of the Social Movement Stop Censorship! Regarding the Approval in the First Reading the Bill about Defamation Criminalization
Freedom of Speech is the basic value in each democratic society and the attempts to limit it
manifest authoritarianism in the country.
On September, 18, 2012, Ukrainian Parliament approved in the first reading the Bill #11013 that says about greater responsibility for attacks the honor, dignity and business reputation of the man and violations of it can result in imprisonment.
Such actions of the Deputies can significantly limit the rights and freedom of each Ukrainian because the Law says about criminal responsibility for words and critics.
244 Deputies representing the pro-governmental authority propose to imprison people in case of “defamation, i.e. deliberate spread of false information that attacks the honor, dignity of other person or damages his/her business reputation and causes serious consequences.
In fact, everybody, who spreads critical information, can face the threat of prosecution. This is the threat to not only the journalists, bloggers and activists, but also to common users of social networks and forums, who just comment on the news.
Considering distrust to the Courts functioning in Ukraine and features of their dependence, such norms in the Criminal Code can become a basis for prosecution of everybody, who criticizes the authority and can open a way to political repression of independent politicians, journalists and activists.
If this Bill appears in the process of the pre-elections campaign, it means the desire to limit
critical statements and, thus, to restrict political pluralism that does not meet international
standards of election campaigns.
In this situation we call all journalists to cover this issue in all possible ways to explain the
consequences of the adoption of the Law. In case of absence of any reaction from the side of the Bill initiators, we call to ignore in future covering information about activities of those people who seeks to destroy freedom of speech in the country and intimidate everybody, who spreads the information.
We also call the leaders of fractions to consider the irrelevance of the document to
recommendations of international organizations, where Ukraine is represented, namely,
European Council that calls for maximum decriminalization of defamation legislation.
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