In Greece, journalists were convicted for broadcasting “False information that may cause public concern or fear, or undermine their confidence in the national economy, national defense capabilities, or public health” May soon be fined or even imprisoned for at least six months. Publishers or owners in charge of the media will also face imprisonment and financial penalties.
The Greek Ministry of Justice proposed this amendment as part of the reform of the Civil Code, and the amendment will be voted on in Parliament in the next few days. But the text aroused the outrage of the Greek and European journalists’ unions, who called on the government to withdraw the case. The Greek Editors’ Union (Esiaa) pointed out that “ The amendment does not provide a clear definition of false information. The definition of this term is vague and may lead to abuse of sanctions against journalists”. Europe’s mechanism for monitoring violations of press freedom in Europe, namely the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), believes that “The sanctions under the bill will undermine freedom of the press and have an adverse effect when independent journalism is already under pressure in Greece.”
“Greek journalists have often been threatened with abuse, prosecution and imprisonment for criminal defamation, explain Pavol Sale Head of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) EU-Balkan OfficeThis amendment will only increase the risk of journalists being prosecuted and imprisoned. “
“4electronic The worst country in the European Union for press freedom”
During the pandemic, Romania and Bulgaria also tried to criminalize the spread of “fake news”, but these bills were revoked after being strongly criticized by EU institutions. The only country that has come along is Hungary. “Currently, Greece is the 4thelectronic In the RSF World Press Freedom Ranking, most EU countries are behind Malta, Hungary, and Bulgaria.Since last year, she has lost five places », memories of Pavol Szalai.
Six months ago, Star TV reporter Giorgos Karaivaz, who had reported on the Athens Mafia and organized crime, was shot and killed outside his home in broad daylight. Reporters Without Borders called on the Greek authorities to do their best to resolve the case quickly, but failed to see a successful investigation. “When the reporter Peter R. de Vries was assassinated in the Netherlands, the alleged perpetrator was arrested on the same day, and the government quickly took further measures to protect press freedom. This is not the case in Greece.”, Deplore Pavol Szalai.
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