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Constitutional convention proposes to toughen punishment for defamation

Members of the constitutional convention of Kyrgyzstan proposed to toughen punishment for dissemination of information discrediting and degrading honor and dignity. They announced this at the plenary session of the constitutional convention.

Earlier, article on criminal prosecution of the media for disseminating information defaming the honor and dignity of an individual was removed from the new draft Constitution at the meeting of the section «Rights, freedoms and duties of a person and citizen.»

The chairman of this section, Nurlan Sheripov, explained that in cases of defamation, the issue will be resolved only in a civil-legal manner, as it was before. It is not criminal liability.

«Our section is against introduction of such a norm, because it contradicts the fundamental human rights to freely express one’s thoughts,» Nurlan Sheripov said.

«Together with rights, there must be responsibility. We have already had it in practice — the media and social media in some cases disseminate information that denigrates a person’s honor. When you go to court with materials, they do not accept them. Therefore, it is necessary to determine responsibility and back it up in the Basic Law,» Kantemir Myrzabekov said.

He was supported by former deputy Esengul Isakov, who said that as of today there was a factory of trolls on social media that can denigrate anyone.

«You all know that people with big money hire specialists who work on social media, damaging the dignity and reputation of this or that person. Some are accused so much that he or she then ends up behind bars. Therefore, we need to tackle this problem more severely,» Esengul Isakov said.