MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti)
Ukrainian lawmakers on Tuesday shelved a bill criminalizing defamation.
The decision comes after days of protests in Ukraine by journalists and media activists. The draft law, sponsored by the ruling Party of the Regions, was approved in a first reading last month.
It calls for tighter punishment for defamation, including prison terms of up to five years. The opposition and independent media have slammed it as a crackdown on freedom of speech.
The bill has also been criticized by international media watchdogs.
The Party of Regions said consideration of the bill has been postponed in view of the public outcry.
The opposition does not rule out that the bill will be revisited after parliamentary elections due on October 28.
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.