NewsLocalParliament sends back to Justice Ministry proposed ‘fake news’ bill

Parliament sends back to Justice Ministry proposed ‘fake news’ bill

The Parliament has sent back to the Justice Ministry the so-called ‘fake news’ bill – a proposal which seeks to criminalize personal insults online – following a wave of key concerns.

The stated aim of the proposal is to protect the public from online attacks but there are concerns that it may also act as a tool to curb free speech, according to Philenews.

The objections come mainly from the Committee on Journalistic Ethics and the Cyprus Publishers Association, as well as from many members of parliament.

The issue was debated again on Wednesday before the House Legal Affairs Committee.

Committee chairman Nicos Tornaritis of rightwing Disy pointed out: “We first and foremost want to protect and defend freedom of expression and then legislate and criminalise”.

“At the same time we want to protect citizens, especially the vulnerable ones subjected to threatening attacks of any content.”

Opposition Akel MPs saised concern that the proposal could open the door to potentially protect politicians from criticism.

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