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UDP condemns law to criminalize free press & free speech

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2024. 9:52 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: The United Democratic Party (UDP) has vehemently criticized the latest move by the People’s United Party (PUP) government to curtail freedom of speech through proposed amendments to the Criminal Code aimed at penalizing individuals who expose criminal activities through media publications.

In a statement released, the UDP accused the PUP government of attempting to stifle transparency and silence dissent by criminalizing the dissemination of information regarding criminal activities.

The proposed amendment, approved by the Cabinet, seeks to target individuals who publish statements, footage, or evidence of crimes, under the guise of maintaining public order.

“The United Democratic Party strongly rejects the latest attempt by the insecure, immature and thin-skinned PUP government to infringe upon Belizeans’ right to freedom of speech with Cabinet’s approval for a legislative amendment to the Criminal Code in order to criminalize and persecute individuals who publish statements, footage or other evidence of criminal activities,” the UDP expressed.

“While the almost daily footage of robberies and shootings upset the administration because they discredit Kareem Musa’s lies and cooked crime stats, they also heighten the awareness of citizens which is key to their own personal safety. Criminalizing such publications serves only to satisfy a failed government’s desire to pretend bullets are not flying and businesses are not being robbed on a daily basis all across the country,” the UDP added.

The United Democratic Party further said that it “is disappointed but not surprised by this attempt by the PUP to silence the media and suppress the publication of public activities.”

The UDP accused the current administration of having a “fundamental problem with freedom of expression and speech.”

 

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