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Jagland: Re-criminalising defamation in Ukraine would be a step backwards

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Sep. 21, 2012 18:18
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The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland has issued today a statement in which he urged Ukrainian parliament to reject the attempt to stifle media freedom in Ukraine, Jagland's press-service reported on September 21st.
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Strasbourg - The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland has issued a statement in which he urged Ukrainian parliament to reject the attempt to stifle media freedom in Ukraine, his press-service reported on September 21st.  

'The Ukrainian Rada voted in first reading in favour of a law re-criminalising defamation. Ukraine has a vibrant media sector, but the mere threat of prosecution may create a chilling effect, increase self-censorship and curtail media freedom. Civil remedies and public dialogue would provide a far more appropriate defence against slander,' the statement reads. 

'I urge the Ukrainian parliament to reject this attempt to stifle media freedom, which is an essential precondition for a functioning democracy. Without free media, there is no remedy against incompetence and misuse of power, ' Jagland said. 

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