New York, June 30--Moroccan journalist Hamid el-Mehdaoui was handed a four-month suspended prison sentence by a Casablanca court on Monday and ordered, along with a co-defendant named in the case, to pay a combined 100,000 Moroccan dirhams ($10,290) in damages for criminal defamation, according to the journalist's website and other news outlets.
Myanmar’s parliament yesterday voted against several constitutional amendments that keep the military’s veto power intact, dealing a blow to hopes for fuller democracy, according to the BBC. And outside the legislature authorities are accelerating the pace at which they undoing democratic reforms.
Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais is once again facing the threat of prison after the public prosecutor reinstated charges of criminal defamation on Monday. Seven Angolan generals have been pursuing criminal defamation charges against the investigative journalist over the publication of his 2011 book Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola, in which he documents allegations of torture, forced displacement, intimidation, and even murder in the diamond-rich Lundas region of Angola.
Bogotá, May 15, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a decision by a Venezuelan judge that prohibits 22 news executives from three independent media outlets from leaving the country due to a defamation lawsuit filed by one of Venezuela's most powerful politicians. According to news reports, the lawsuit and travel ban came after three outlets republished in January a story from the Spanish daily ABC that linked Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, to drug trafficking.
On Tuesday, less than a week after receiving an award for his journalism from the London-based freedom of expression group Index on Censorship, veteran journalist Rafael Marques de Morais will stand trial in Angola on charges of criminal defamation.
South Korea has been hailed by many as a bastion for democracy and press freedom, especially in comparison to its twin to the north, which for years has been featured on the Committee to Protect Journalists' most censored list. However the recent stifling of critical voices in South Korea, including cases of arrests, deportation, and criminal defamation hearings in the past seven days, indicates a worrisome climate for press freedom and free expression.
Cape Town, South Africa, December 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's ruling by the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights in Addis Ababa that criminal defamation should be used only in restricted circumstances and that imprisonment for defamation violates freedom of expression. The court also upheld the appeal of Issa Lohé Konaté, editor of the Burkina Faso-based weekly L'Ouragan, who in October 2012 was sentenced to 12 months in prison and a fine for criminal defamation in connection with two articles he wrote questioning abuse of power by the state prosecutor's office.
Cape Town, South Africa, December 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the decision by the Pretoria High Court in South Africa to uphold journalist Cecil Motsepe's appeal against a conviction of criminal defamation, but disapproves of the court's ruling that the crime of defamation for journalists falls in line with South Africa's constitution. Motsepe, a reporter for the daily newspaper Sowetan, was convicted in June 2013 and sentenced to a fine or a suspended 10-month prison term in connection with a 2009 story.
In a landmark ruling, the Zimbabwean Constitutional Court on July 22 declared unconstitutional a section of the draconian Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act that criminalizes defamation.
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