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You're reading: About 200 journalists picketing parliament in protest against bill criminalizing slander

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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