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Government vows to decriminalise defamation

(SEAPA/IFEX) - The government of Timor Leste announced on 24 September 2008 its decision to decriminalise the country's Defamation Law, a move that was welcomed by the Timor Lorosa'e Journalists Association (TLJA).

Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato announced to members of the press gathered at the national parliament that the government will remove the Defamation Law from the country's Penal Code and will treat violations thereof as civil cases.

She added that the government will sign into law a revised penal code as soon as the national parliament passes the bill.

TLJA, a SEAPA partner based in Dili, Timor Leste, said it welcomes this decision of the government and considers it as a crucial step towards the promotion of freedom of expression in Timor Leste.

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