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Ukrainian president hails parliament's decision to cancel libel bill

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Oct. 2, 2012, 7:14 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Journalists in Kyiv protest against the adoption of the libel law.
© Kostyantyn Chernichkin

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has welcomed parliament's decision to cancel a draft law 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, which was earlier passed at first reading.

A statement posted by Presidential Spokesperson Daria Chepak on the official Web site of the head of state says that Yanukovych earlier addressed the author of the bill, Regions Party MP Vitaliy Zhuravsky, regarding the need to reconsider the "future of this document."

"The president said such bills should be passed only after a proper assessment by European experts, public discussion and taking into account public opinion," she said.

Yanukovych noted "the importance of the effective protection of freedom of expression and diversity of opinion in the country, which is critically required during the election campaign."

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