Did you know Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela made some ‘reforms’ to their criminal code a couple years ago. The result being they can now lock up journalists who print anything bad about them.
The Virginia-based World Press Freedom Committee says that defamation of a public official remains a crime in dozens of countries, including in several democracies, “where legislators should know better than to allow such poor examples to exist.” The committee said countries where defamation laws are in effect include Russia, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Tajikistan.
The situation is particularly acute in Venezuela. The Virginia press group said in a report released in April that Venezuelan criminal code “reforms” that took effect in 2005 stiffened penalties for defamation of the country’s president, attorney general, National Assembly legislators and senior military leaders. Penalties for defamation increased from a maximum of 30 months in prison to a new maximum of four yearsâ€™ imprisonment if the defamation is made in a document distributed to the public.
No word if the criminal code also covers lawyers.