NUJ supports campaign against defamation bill in Ukraine
The NUJ is supporting the call by Ukrainian journalists for the withdrawal of proposed legislation that would introduce criminal responsibility for libel.
"There must be an end to criminal procedures for defamation. Laws such as these have a chilling effect on the willingness and ability of journalists to do their jobs effectively. Our support is with our Ukrainian colleagues as they fight to protect democracy and for the right to do their jobs free from fear. This law would enable the powerful to silence critics and end the exposure of corruption."
Signed Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, and Jim Boumelha, president International Federation of Journalist
The proposed new law had been voted in first hearing on 18 September by the Ukrainian Parliament and is seen by many as another tool for government reprisals against critical journalists. The adoption of similar laws in authoritarian countries has led to curtailing of civic freedoms and there are serious concerns that Ukraine is at risk as well.
See See EFJ/IFJ statement from 20 September here