10 February 2011

Alert

Government minister brings criminal defamation charges against journalist


Incident details

Legal action

A. Baatarkhuyag, Journalist
(Globe International/IFEX) - Globe International (GI) is deeply concerned over defamation charges brought against publicist and journalist A. Baatarkhuyag.

Baatarkhuyag has been under investigation for criminal defamation since 8 July 2010, following a complaint by Minister of Nature, Environment and Tourism L. Gansukh. The minister complained that he had been defamed by the following sentences: "Many suffocate from their embezzling" and "Gansukh from Democratic party and Otgonbayar from Revolutionary Party become neighbors in their houses costing million dollars". These statements were contained in an article by Baatarkhuyag entitled "From solidarity to demoralizing", which was published in the 1 March 2010 edition of the daily newspaper "Udriin Sonin".

In his complaint, the minister argued that Baatarkhuyag should be severely punished for defaming him and accusing him of corruption in a nationwide publication.

The first hearing in the case will be held on 11 February 2011.

GI notes that the minister's action is in breach of the Media Freedom Law, Article 3, which bans any kind of censorship and hindering of journalists' media work carried out in compliance with the law. Furthermore, according to Article 139 of the Mongolian Criminal Law, any breach of the Media Freedom Law may be considered a crime.

GI urges the Mongolian authorities to repeal the criminal defamation legislation and calls on politicians and public officials to be more tolerant and open to criticism.

In Mongolia, defamation charges brought against journalists in connection with their articles violate freedom of expression, speech, opinion and the press, as guaranteed by Article 16 of the Constitution, Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Mongolia ratified in 1974.

GI is concerned about the increase in the number of such actions by politicians and public officials using criminal defamation provisions to strangle the voice of the free media.


Source:

Putting free expression issues in perspective.

Sign up to receive IFEX In Context.

Mongolia

IFEX members working in this country 1

 
More from Mongolia
  • Monitoring freedom of expression in Mongolia

    Globe International registered a total of 519 freedom of expression violations in Mongolia

  • Assessment of media development in Mongolia

    This publication presents the findings of the media development assessment in Mongolia that began in 2012 to determine the state of the media in the country. The assessment was based on the UNESCO/IPDC Media Development Indicators (MDIs), an internationally recognized analytical tool used to provide detailed overviews of national media landscapes and related media development priorities.

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Mongolia

    In January, journalists established the Press Council of Mongolia, the country’s first-ever independent media council.


At this point, would publish cover: "Home page"
 
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
Permission is granted for material on this website to be reproduced or republished in whole or in part provided the source member and/or IFEX is cited with a link to the original item.