Defamation Law Amendments Not Endorsed by Abkhazian Committee

Parliament building of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Parliament building of the Republic of Abkhazia.

SUKHUM / AQW'A ―  Today, an extended meeting of the Committee of the People’s Assembly - Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia on State-Legal Policy was held, chaired by Daut Khutaba.

Participants included: Parliament deputies, Batal Aiba, representative of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia in Parliament, Anas Kishmaria, Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Abkhazia, and representatives from the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Abkhazia.

The participants discussed the draft law "On Amending the Criminal Code of the Republic of Abkhazia," aimed at refining various norms of the criminal legislation of the Republic of Abkhazia, including establishing criminal penalties for insult, and increasing the severity of punishment. Under the proposed law, criminal liability would also arise for public insults made using information and telecommunication networks, including the Internet.

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This draft law serves as an alternative to another draft previously considered by the Committee, "On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Abkhazia."

Following discussions and voting, the Committee did not give a positive recommendation for the approval of the reviewed draft law at the meeting of the Parliament session.

Last week, during an extensive session on April 19th, Abkhazia's Parliamentary Committee on State-Legal Policy opted not to recommend a bill proposing stringent defamation penalties, which included imprisonment and substantial fines. The committee’s rigorous discussion underscored the need to balance penalising defamation while safeguarding freedom of expression, resulting in the bill's rejection due to concerns over its broad implications.




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