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Prosecutor General supports imprisonment for slander in Kazakhstan

04 april 2014, 14:44
0
Nurmakhanbet Issayev. Photo courtesy of prokuror.gov.kz
Nurmakhanbet Issayev. Photo courtesy of prokuror.gov.kz

Deputy Prosecutor General Nurmakhanbet Issayev has voiced his approval of use of imprisonment as punishment for slander at the meeting with journalists in Astana, Tengrinews.kz reports.

Remembering when he was discussing this issue with one of the most avid rights activists in Kazakhstan he said, "I asked him what he thought about introducing a criminal responsibility not only for slander but also for gossiping. He laughed at me and said that I am too blood-thirsty," Issayev told journalists and gave the example of German Criminal Code that punishes gossiping with 2 years in prison.

"I am certainly not suggesting we introduce a criminal responsibility for gossiping into our Criminal Code. But I want it to be clear that everyone, especially journalists, have a right to speak their mind, but at the same time, a journalist must not forget that if the words are not true then the person who fell victim of this false accusation has a right to seek protection," Issayev said.

"I personally believe that we should not make slander a civil offence. There a great quote: “A word heals but it also kills”. I think words can be worse than bullets," Issayev concluded.

Earlier, First Deputy Prosecutor General Iogan Merkel said that international organizations were against criminal responsibility for slander in Kazakhstan, but added that the Prosecutor General’s Office wanted to study the issue thoroughly.

Kazakhstani journalists have recently made a video in protest of criminal responsibility for slander because they believe it makes investigative reporting virtually impossible.

 

Reporting by Assel Satayeva


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