Turkish opposition blocks parliamentary debate on censorship bill

Turkish opposition blocks parliamentary debate on censorship bill
Update: 13 October 2022 21:21
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The critical Article 29 that introduces a prison sentence up to three years for spreading “false” information has led to opposition’s protest with applause and slogans

Turkish opposition parties blocked the parliamentary debate of a critical article of Turkish government’s new censorship bill that introduces prison sentence for spreading “fake” news online.

The parliament couldn’t complete the discussion of the Article 29 of the bill due to the opposition's protest with applause and slogans and the session had to be closed on late Wednesday.

According to the Article 29, those who are deemed to have “publicly disseminated false information regarding national security, public order, or general public health that creates anxiety, fear, or panic among the population or disturbs public peace,” will face prison sentences of between one and three years, should the bill approved.

If a court rules that someone spread misinformation as part of an illegal organization, the jail sentence will increase by 50 percent.

Last week Turkish lawmakers began reviewing a controversial bill that was heavily criticised for creating a censorship mechanism and seen as a move of the government to further tighten its grip on dissident. 

The bill popularly known as the “law on combatting disinformation" was proposed to the parliament by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in May.

The parliament approved 28 articles of the bill that contains a total of 40 articles. The debate that was ended due to the protests, will resume on Thursday afternoon.