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Coalition “For Media Advocacy” Responds to the Statements about Legislative Amendments Related to Defamation

Statements 14 January 2019

 

At the beginning of 2019, high-ranking officials made numerous statements regarding the legislative amendments related to defamation.

 

According to the President of Georgia, there is a need for legislation that provides more protection for both human dignity and freedom of speech. The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia stated that the discussion must start not only on the issue of defamation but also with regard to the problem of severe insult and increased use of offensive language.

 

It is known that for many years the current law on "Freedom of Speech and Expression" has taken into consideration the civil responsibility for defamation of both private and public persons. Consequently, any person facing degrading treatment is already able to appeal to the Court and seek judicial protection of their infringed rights.

 

We think more explanations are needed to clarify what was meant in the statements of the President and the Chairman of the Parliament.

 

As a result of multi-years efforts of our society, the current legislation sets a high standard of freedom of expression and it has always been considered a great achievement of Georgian democracy.

 

We are deeply convinced that any legislative change worsening the current standards of freedom of expression will pose a threat to the country's democratic development.

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