Wednesday, July 04, 2012 -
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on Tuesday signed into law a bill he proposed that removes libel from the criminal law books.
The new law removed libel and insult from the criminal code and placed them within the jurisdiction of administrative law.
Under the amendments, courts will no longer be able to impose hefty jail sentences on journalists for a libel conviction. Instead, judges are limited to issuing fines, the independent Tajik news agency Asia-Plus reported.
But the new legislation worked out by Rahmon’s rubber-stamp parliament did not include amendments to Article 137 of the libel law.
That clause gives judges the right to impose a criminal conviction of up to five years in jail to anyone who libels or insults the president himself.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) praised the new law, but voiced hope that all the untouched clauses related to libel would also be rescinded over time.
Rahmon also inked into law on Tuesday a package of bills ranging from foreign trade activities, to transportation safety, geographical signs, industrial standards, and a moratorium on inspection of economic entities dealing with production.