EFJ supports campaign against defamation bill in Ukraine



European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today has backed calls by Ukrainian

journalists for the withdrawal of proposed legislation that would introduce

criminal responsibility for libel.



on the fringes of an EFJ conference in Moscow that is focussing on the ways in

which the EFJ can support journalists' unions in Eastern Europe, EFJ President

Arne König called for the legislation to be withdrawn: "Right across

Europe the EFJ campaigns for 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."



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.



adoption of similar laws in authoritarian countries led to further curtailing

of civic freedoms and there are serious concerns that Ukraine is at risk as




König added: "Our support is with our Ukrainian colleagues as they fight

to protect democracy and for the right to do their jobs free from fear.”



also EFJ/IFJ statement from 20 September: http://europe.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-and-efj-condemn-ukraine-bill-to-criminalise-slander


The EFJ, which is a

regional organisation of the International Federation of journalists,

represents over 310,000 journalists in over 30 countries.


For more information,

contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200.