UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission comments on Ukraine's disinformation bill

UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission comments on Ukraine's disinformation bill

Ukrinform
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission says it is necessary to counter disinformation and fake news, but this cannot be done at the cost of restricting media freedom.

“We urge Ukraine’s government to avoid unnecessary restrictions on media. We share the concerns of the media community and civil society that the current draft law on disinformation is not in line with international human rights standards, may undermine media freedom and trigger self-censorship,” the Mission reports on Facebook.

An attempt to introduce criminal responsibility for disseminating disinformation puts journalists at risk of prosecution simply for doing their work. Furthermore, the government should refrain from establishing bodies in charge of monitoring or filtering content.

“While it is necessary to counter disinformation and fake news, this cannot be done at the cost of restricting media freedom. We encourage the Ministry of Culture that elaborated this first draft, to abide by international human rights standards, to continue public consultations and ensure they are inclusive and open,” the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission noted.

As Ukrinform reported, on January 20, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine published a draft law on ensuring national information security and the right to access reliable information known as the "bill on disinformation."

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