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About 200 journalists picketing parliament in protest against bill criminalizing slander

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Oct. 1, 2012, 12:09 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

About 200 journalists picketing parliament in protest against bill criminalizing slander.
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About 200 people, mainly journalists, are picketing the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Monday, where a meeting of the conciliatory council of the leaders of parliamentary factions and committees is taking place.

The participants in the rally are against the adoption of the bill criminalizing slander, and are holding white sheets and posters with the inscriptions "MPs Need Law on Slander," "All that the People Think about the Government is Slander."

Some protesters are dressed in medical bandages. Participants in the rally are handing out leaflets stating that the authors of the law on slander must answer for their actions.

"The party that votes for similar bills should not regain power. The author of a similar bill does not deserve a parliamentary mandate," reads the leaflet.

As reported, on September 18, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed at first reading a bill by Vitaliy Zhuravsky introducing amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine concerning the tightening of responsibility for infringement on honor, dignity and business reputation." The document proposes adding Article 145-1 on slander to the Criminal Code.

The chairman of the parliamentary faction of the Regions Party, MP Oleksandr Yefremov, expressed confidence that the bill on the tightening of responsibility for infringing a person's honor, dignity and business reputation would undergo public discussion before its second reading.

Presidential Adviser Hanna Herman said that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych would not sign the law on slander if it were passed by parliament in its current wording.

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