‘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.