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You're reading: Ukraine warned against passing media libel law

An international media watchdog is urging Ukrainian lawmakers to reject a bill that calls for criminalizing libel, saying it could "threaten the very existence of independent journalism."

This week, Ukraine’s
parliament gave tentative approval to a bill that could impose a jail
term of up to five years for defamation.

Paris-based Reporters
Without Borders said Wednesday that “such a return to the past would
have a major impact on freedom of information in Ukraine.”

Watchdogs
say media freedoms in Ukraine have come under threat since President
Viktor Yanukovych came to power two years ago. They accuse the
government of resorting to censorship and pressuring independent news
outlets ahead of the Oct. 28 parliamentary election.

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