The Labour Party is going to implement very authoritarian laws against free speech

Jonathan Attard: Justice Minister. Don't laugh, yet.

It is important to note that as the government will be addressing a problem of its own making so that nutjobs like Gordon Manche don’t file criminal reports on satire, the government has also presented the most authoritarian press reform in Maltese history. The government’s press reform will include these points:

– The absolute right to privacy. This will add a layer of protection to politicians.
– A military committee to spy on journalists.
–  The recognition of foreign libel cases in Maltese law courts.

Journalists and editors have expressed their position against this reform, however, the government is going ahead with the reform without any changes.

Separately, the government intends to introduce an “anti-cyber-bullying law” with sentences of up to €30,000 in fines and two years in prison.  So, once this law will be passed, Gordon Manche may very well again be in court saying he was “bullied”.

The government will pretend that it will be reforming some laws so that Gordon Manche doesn’t make criminal complaints against artists who satirise him, but Gordon Manche is irrelevant. Overall, Gordon Manche will serve the government as an excellent distraction so that it implements some of the most draconian laws on free speech in Maltese history.

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