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Ukraine's defamation bill ditched after media pressure

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Ukraine's defamation bill ditched after media pressure

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Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday scrapped a defamation bill that could have seen journalists fined, banned from working or even jailed.

The text had been drafted by an MP from President Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of Regions and the country’s media launched a vocal campaign to stop it becoming law.

Mustafa Nayem, a member of the Stop Censorship Movement, said the proposal could be revived after forthcoming elections.

“It wasn’t to the government’s advantage to press ahead because the image of the country would be tarnished and it could overshadow the election results,” he told euronews.

Yanukovich himself criticised the timing of the bill on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week.

Opposition MPs believe the draft law was ditched because it had become too much of a political hot potato leading up to the parliamentary poll on October 28th.