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You're reading: OSCE representative calls on Yanukovych to veto legislation criminalizing speech, endangering media freedom in Ukraine

VIENNA – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said she was concerned about the adoption of legislative amendments in Ukraine, including re-criminalization of libel, that endanger free speech.

“I am worried about today’s decision of Verkhovna Rada and call on the Ukrainian authorities to stop attempts to restrict free expression and free media,” Mijatović said.

Today the parliament, Verkhovna Rada, adopted amendments to the Criminal Code which introduce provisions re-criminalizing defamation and provide additional protection for public officials from critical speech. The amendments also introduce criminal responsibility for distributing extremist materials, which are broadly defined in the law, through the media and the Internet.

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