Soon in Turkey: Up to 3 Years in Prison for spreading "Disinformation"

World | October 14, 2022, Friday // 09:29|  views

@Anadolu Agency

Turkey's parliament on Thursday passed an article in a draft law that could jail people for up to three years for spreading "disinformation", despite deep concerns about freedom of speech and journalism, Reuters reported.

Opposition lawmakers, European countries and media rights activists called on the government to reject the bill, which was drafted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its nationalist allies the Nationalist Action Party.

Article 29, passed by their votes despite opposition MPs voting against it, states that those who spread false information about Turkey's security to "sow fear and disturb public order" will face prison terms of one to three years.

This article has raised serious concerns among critics of the draft law, which is likely to be approved in its entirety, given that the AKP and the Nationalist Action Party have a majority in parliament.

Media freedom is an issue of increasing importance ahead of next year's presidential and parliamentary elections, with polls showing a drop in support for Erdogan and the AKP since the last vote.

The Venice Commission said it was particularly concerned about the "potential consequences of such a provision, namely the deterrent effect and increased self-censorship" ahead of the vote.

The text, officially called the Press Law, was tabled in May by lawmakers from President Erdogan's AKP, who will run for another term in June 2023. It consists of 40 articles, the most controversial of which is the 29th, providing for imprisonment from one to three years for "dissemination of false or false information affecting the internal and external security of the country, such as may cause harm in the sphere of public health, to disturb public order, to cause fear or panic among the population," reported AFP.

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Tags: turkey, Law, press, Disinformation


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