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EU Commission: action to combat abusive lawsuits against journalists and human rights activists

The European Commission is taking action to curb abusive lawsuits against journalists and human rights activists. Indeed, Brussels has today submitted proposals in the form of a directive and a recommendation. As announced by the European Commission, with the directive, judges will be able to quickly dismiss and reject manifestly unfounded cases against journalists and human rights defenders. The text sets out various procedural guarantees and measures, such as compensation for damages and dissuasive sanctions against abusive claimants. “We promised to better protect journalists and human rights defenders from those who try to silence them. The new legislation does just that. In a democracy, wealth and power cannot prevail over the truth”, said European Commission’s Vice-President for Transparency, Vera Jourova. SLAPP victims, that is, the victims of abusive lawsuits aimed at silencing them, will also be able to claim compensation for material and moral damages. “Today, we are taking important steps to protect journalists and civil society that are increasingly threatened by SLAPPs” which “delay or even prevent the publication of statements of public interest”, said Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.

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