Concerning the mitigation of criminal penalties for defamation and insult

04 - March, 2020

According to the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, No. PP-4551 dated December 13 2019, the Agency for Information and Mass Communications developed and published for public discussion proposals on the abolition of criminal penalties for defamation and insult related to imprisonment.

As a representative of civil society, the Public Foundation for the Support and Development of National Mass Media fully supports the abolition of the punishment of imprisonment for defamation and insult.

In addition, taking into account the opinions of journalists and bloggers who were part of the foundations working group, we would like to put forward the following proposals regarding the criminal punishment for defamation or insult:

We consider it necessary first of all to exclude aggravating circumstance in the Criminal Code for defamation or insult in the media. In today's realities, slander or insult through the media is a cause for criminal prosecution. It would be optimal to exclude this aggravating circumstance and first establish administrative responsibility for journalists instead of criminal liability.

Secondly, the amount of fines established in the Criminal Code for defamation or insult is very high. In particular, under general circumstances they reach 44 million UZS, and under aggravating - 133 million UZS. For this reason, it is advisable to drastically reduce the amount of fines.

Thirdly, under current law, insulting the victim's performance of his official or civil duty as an aggravating circumstance is an occasion to bring him directly to criminal liability. Nevertheless, when it comes to insults from persons performing their professional duties, this initially leads to administrative responsibility. It is proposed to review this fact from the point of view of social justice and delete this subparagraph.

Join Telegram group