Turkey’s parliament on Thursday passed a bill proposed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that would see journalists and social media users jailed for up to three years for spreading “disinformation.”
Details: Lawmakers from the ruling party and its allies, who together have a majority, voted to approve the bill despite opposition MPs, European countries and media rights activists calling for its repeal.
Article 29 of the law caused the greatest concern regarding freedom of expression. It states that those who spread false information about Turkey’s security on the Internet in order to “create fear and disrupt public order” will be punished by imprisonment for a term of one to three years.
Critics have said there is no clear definition of “false or misleading information”, leaving the law open to abuse by the courts.
The issue of media freedom is growing in importance ahead of next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections, when polls show support for Erdogan and his party has plummeted since the last vote.