Last February, Trinidad and Tobago was praised by many human rights groups, including the I.P.L. for approving legislation to partially decriminalised defamation.
Press freedom advocates locally are concerned about the cybercrime bill being discussed in Parliament this week.
They contend in its current language the bill imposes disturbing restrictions on the work of the media.
In a statement today, I.P.L. Executive Director, Alison Bethel McKenzie, says the “criminalization of defamation defined by Article 21 is in contradiction with recent amendments to the country’s libel law and in breach of international standards in this area.”
Under Clause 21 (2 and 3) of the proposed Cybercrime Bill, anyone who damages the reputation of another person; or subjects another person to public ridicule, contempt, hatred or embarrassment, commits an offence”, among others, faces fines of TTD $100,000 and/or up to three years in jail.