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OSCE media freedom calls for full decriminalization of defamation

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, on defamation ahead of vote on Italian draft – from http://www.osce.org/fom/104992

WIEN, 16 September 2013 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, expressed concern today that defamation would not be fully decriminalized by proposed amendments to be considered by the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament on Tuesday.

‘While I welcome the abolishment of imprisonment as a penalty, defamation should be fully decriminalized,” Mijatović said. “The threat of criminal sanctions of any kind for reporting can have a chilling effect on investigative journalism.”

Mijatović also said the proposed amendments fail to cap monetary damages in civil defamation cases and may result in the use of groundless lawsuits that could potentially intimidate  media.

“I urge Italian lawmakers to consider revising the amendments in order to fully decriminalize defamation,” she said.

Mijatović has consistently supported defamation reform in the OSCE region, including the decriminalization of defamation.

Read in italian: Diffamazione: l’OSCE all’Italia, depenalizzate

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