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19.12.2013 16:11

Will media organizations be punished for using hate speech? - Rezonansi

Media about media

გაზეთი 'რეზონანსი'

In an inspector decides that hate speech is used by media or private person when making public speech, they can be imposed with financial sanction.  Lawyers claim the Antidiscrimination draft law allows possibility of such interpretation.  Fine in case of private person is from GEL 100 to 500 and in case of legal persons – GEL 500 to 2,500.  The draft law will be sent to Parliament for discussion next week. 

19 December Rezonansi newspaper includes article on whether or a media organization is to be fined for using hate speech, by Antidiscrimination law. 

Lawyer of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association Giorgi Gotsiridze told Rezonansi that is not direct article on prohibition of hate speech in the law, although there is a clause that gives possibility for interpretation of prohibition of hate speech.  According to the given clause any kind of harassment that is aimed at creating hostile, humiliating, threatening and insulting environment is prohibited.  Incitement to discrimination is also prohibited. 

Giorgi Gotsiridze told Rezonansi that it would be advisable to specify the given clause in the draft law.  NGOs have already addressed the initiator of the draft law, the Ministry of Justice with the given recommendations.  In case if the Ministry does not consider the recommendation they will appeal to the legislative body. 

Head of NGO Identity Irakli Vacharadze, it has to be specified what is counted as hate speech.  Vacharadze told Rezonansi that such issues cannot be regulated by law.  Such issues must be regulated by media and its audience. 

Journalist Tamar Chikovani also assessed the possible prohibition of hate speech by law.  Chikovani believes that it is necessary to define the hate speech.  Journalist believes that on one hand hate speech must not be present, but on the other hand there should not be signs of censorship.  Chikovani believes that prohibition of usage of hate speech will not solve the problem. 

First deputy Justice Minister Sandro Baramadze told Rezonansi that there is nothing about hate speech in the draft law and it is just speculation of lawyers. 

Sandro Baramadze does not exclude concretization of the clause in the draft law, although he believes that it would not be advisable to specify what expression of hate speech is and what is now.  Baramadze told Rezonansi that serious questions will appear in relation to freedom of expression with introduction of the given regulation.  

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