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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Put a stop to the blackmailing of journalists with unfounded lawsuits or lawsuits

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ΦρΕνο στους ε&kappa ;βιασµοyς των δηµοσιογρàφων µε &alpha ;βσιµες µηνyσεις or αγωγeς

By Alexia Kafetzis

The majority of the members of the European Parliament puts a stop to the groundless lawsuits or lawsuits by powerful people and entities against journalists, voting in favor of the directive on the “Protection of journalists and defenders of human rights from patently unfounded or abusive legal proceedings”.

More specifically, in the plenary session of the European Parliament (27/02) 546 MEPs voted in favor, including the MEPs of AKEL and the Left in the EP, Giorgos Georgiou and Niazi Kizilgiurek, while far-right political groups either voted against or abstained.

< p>This is a directive that aims to provide protection against legal proceedings and threats against natural and legal persons – including their families – seeking to prevent them from participating in public affairs (SLAPP). That is, baseless lawsuits or lawsuits by powerful individuals and entities to silence or even obstruct the defendants as usual.

In the directive, special reference is made to the role played by professions/persons involved in matters of public interest, such as journalists, underlining that independent and responsible journalism, as well as access to polyphonic information, are key pillars of democracy. It is important to provide journalists with the necessary space to contribute to an open, free and fair dialogue and to counter misinformation, information manipulation and interference.

Regarding academics and artists , it is stated that they should be able to research, teach, learn, interpret and communicate without fear of reprisal.

Another important point in the directive is the reference to cross-border cases and the effects they cause and it also includes online cases, if and as long as the website is accessible in more than one Member State.

At the same time, the directive proposes legislative measures in the areas of civil and criminal procedural law, such as an early rejection mechanism for abusive civil law suits. The text emphasizes that the right to full award of the defendant's costs and the right to compensation should be given.

Source: 24h.com.cy

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