September 25, 2012

Last Days of Freedom of Speech

Just a month before the upcoming parliamentary elections the Ukrainian parliament is making a new advancement against the freedom of speech. And it could be the final stage in reversing the Ukrainian democracy back to autocracy. In the light of the upcoming parliamentary elections, the overall political situation is becoming very dismal in Ukraine, the country of the Orange Revolution.
The parliament has recently passed the Law on Libel in the first reading. Mainly, three political parties voted to pass the infamous law: the Party of Regions (leader: President Yanukovych), the Communist Party (leader: Peter Symonenko), and the People's Party (Speaker of the Parliament Lytvyn). The Law on Libel considers any defamatory statement or published statement that cause a public contempt illegal. If you look for a source of inspiration behind the Law on Libel, it's the Stalinist constitution. The picture (titled: Don't Speak) that you see below shows how the Stalinist regime treated the freedom of speech. If you wonder why they pass it now, the answer is the upcoming parliamentary elections (end of October).

If the parliament passes the law, the freedom of speech as well as democratic election is over in Ukraine. Several newspapers and TV channels started a campaign against the Law on Libel. They posted the following ad:
 One of TV channels that opposed the Law on Libel is TVi. If you follow events in Ukraine, you should know that all cable companies "voluntarily" cancelled their contracts with TVi. You cannot watch TVi on your TV anymore. You can watch it only online. Needless to say, a number of TVi viewers has already shrunk significantly. TVi follows the life story of Russia's NTV. And another one bites the dust. So what are the chances that this campaign will be successful given that some of supporters are under the government pressure?  

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