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Internet freedoms under threat, say PN MEPs

Proposed defamation laws slammed as autocratic

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Nationalist MEPs David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Therese Comodini Cachia today expressed deep concern about the proposed defamation laws by the Maltese government, which they characterised as “a serious threat to internet freedoms”.

They said the Labour government was taking a page out of the playbook of autocratic regimes with its proposed new media law that would require the registration of websites and limit protection offered to confidential sources.

“The internet is a crucial medium for the freedom of expression and the government should stay out of it. Requiring websites to be registered with a government-appointed media registrar is a clear attempt by Joseph Muscat’s government to stifle dissent online. This is not the road Malta should be taking.”

READ: Proposed new laws 'like those in China or Bangladesh'

The three MEPs said Malta was experiencing an unprecedented level of corruption, intimidation and abuse of power with roots at the highest levels of government. This led citizens and journalists to take to the internet to voice their opposition. 

“These are worrying developments and we will not remain silent. It is time for the Maltese people to stand up and be counted,” they said as they invited people to take part in the nationalist protest being organised by the Nationalist Party in Valletta on Sunday.

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