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MP Solovyova wants media exempt from criminal liability

13 may 2011, 11:01
0
Aigul Solovyova druing a discussion in Nur Otan headquarters.
Aigul Solovyova druing a discussion in Nur Otan headquarters.
First Deputy of Kazakhstan Prosecutor General Iogan Merkel
First Deputy of Kazakhstan Prosecutor General Iogan Merkel
Kazakhstan Majilis (Lower Chamber of the Parliament) Deputy Aigul Solovyova called to exempt media from criminal responsibility. The issue was raised duing a roundtable discussion of Further humanization of criminal responsibility for economic crimes in the headquarters of Nur Otan party, Tengrinews.kz reports.

The appeal was made after the discussion to mitigate liability for economic crimes. “I would like to draw your attention to the issue of defamation,” Aigul Solovyova said.

Defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. This discrediting information may or may not be of slanderous nature. This act is defined in the current criminal legislation as a crime close to slander, but different from it in two ways: 1. Defamation is communication of discrediting facts through media, whereas slander statement may be communicated through media, virbaly (publicly) or in the form of an open letter. 2. The defamation's criminal aspect is in the fact of disclosure of the discrediting information itself, regardless of this information being true or false, whereas slander always involves communication of misleading information.

“When I read the Criminal Code I see that fines are set for infecting one or several people with venereal diseases or, say, for an abortion made by a non-professional; but along with these crimes the Criminal Code also contains punishments for a journalist criticizing state authorities or state mechanisms," she said.

Solovyova called to shift the emphases: “If journalists are not persecuted by the Criminal Code, they will create a balance and provide for a fair discussion and solution of issues.” She gave an example of European countries.

First Deputy Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Iogan Merkel objected to Solovyova: “This is a serious subject. Not all the countries share the opinion that defamation should be decriminalized.” He also gave an example of European countries: 28 European countries have criminal liability for defamation in their criminal codes.

“Take England, Germany, France, for example. But when their representatives come to our country they call for decriminalization of defamation anyway,” he said.

"This issue should be discussed at roundtables and conferences and among experts. Right now it cannot be posed for a solution. If, for example, each of us becomes a victim of such acts, we would possibly change our opinions to the opposite fairly quickly,” said Merkel.

He did not object to discussion of this issue and suggested to hold a separate conference for it. He was supported by the first deputy of Nur Otan party Nurlan Nigmatullin who said that a round table will be organized on this subject shortly.


By Maksim Popov

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