VIENNA, 26 May 2016 – The Italian Senate should consider pending legislation that would increase the maximum penalty to 9 years in jail for criminally defaming elected officials and judges in light of its effect on free expression, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today.
The current maximum penalty is 6 years.
“This initiative is detrimental because jail terms are a disproportionate punishment for defamation,” Mijatović said. “To increase the penalty creates a chilling effect that is harmful to investigative journalism.”
Defamation laws should not be tools for politicians and those in authority to silence critical voices, she added, …read more