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Friday, August 01, 2014


Ukrainian Journalists Protest Defamation Bill

Published 1 October 2012

Some 100 Ukrainian journalists and media activists picketed the parliament in Kyiv on October 1, protesting against a defamation bill. The draft law backed by the ruling Party of the Regions proposes up to five years in jail for offenders. Parliament passed it in a first reading last month, but the bill was then put on hold after the opposition and independent media denounced it as part of a crackdown on freedom of speech in the run up to parliamentary elections on October 28.

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Protesters outside parliament held empty posters to highlight their concerns about censorship and placards saying "Whatever People Think Of Government Is Defamation!"

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Western governments have criticized President Viktor Yanukovych for backsliding on democracy and a trend toward greater authoritarianism since he came to power in February 2010.

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The draft law, backed by the ruling Party of the Regions, proposes up to five years in jail for offenders.