Michael Briguglio sought to belittle the Front Against Censorship by calling it a “front for censorship” in an article bearing the same title (April 16).
For starters, Briguglio might not be aware that the Front Against Censorship resisted the Media and Defamation Bill when it was first introduced and that it was the Front which negotiated the substantial changes that turned this Bill into one of the most liberal statutes in Europe.
Thanks to the Front’s efforts, criminal libel was removed, the proposed doubling of damages for civil libel was scrapped, garnishees are no longer possible and the final nail in the coffin of the artistic censorship regime was hammered with the removal of obscene libel.
Briguglio also took issue with the fact that the Front did not protest when the anti-SLAPP amendments presented by the Opposition to the Bill were voted down by the government.
The question is not whether one is in favour of protecting journalists from SLAPP lawsuits but the way in which this ought to be achieved.
According to independent legal advice we sought, the Opposition’s amendments would not have gone to the heart of the matter and this question is in fact best addressed through an anti-SLAPP directive at EU level, which we support wholeheartedly. This is the only reason why we have chosen to let the parliamentary debate run its course without intervening.
Briguglio also complains that he was blocked from the Front’s Facebook group and that he is thus being censored. It seems he is confusing his right to freedom of speech with being owed a platform on any social media outlet of his liking. Simply put, the Front does not allow politicians to use its group to disseminate their propaganda. Briguglio can use one of the many Facebook pages he administers.
I trust that, next time, Briguglio will take the time to put something together that was not salvaged from an article published five months earlier on Il-Mument.
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