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Blog: Charlie Hebdo insult case highlights weaknesses of Italian defamation law Standards of taste aside, charges brought by earthquake-hit town raise issues for freedom of expression

Blog: Charlie Hebdo insult case highlights weaknesses of Italian defamation law Standards of taste aside, charges brought by earthquake-hit town raise issues for freedom of expression

A lawyer for the Italian town of Amatrice, where nearly 300 people died in an earthquake in August, announced last week that the town would file criminal defamation charges against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Earlier this month the magazine “commented” on the earthquake with two cartoons, the first of which crudely depicted victims as different types of pasta. The second, in response to understandable outrage over the first cartoon, read: “Italians, it’s not Charlie Hebdo who built your houses, it’s the mafia!”

EU defamation laws fall dramatically short of international standards, IPI report indicates In vast majority of member states, defamation remains criminal offence punishable by imprisonment

EU defamation laws fall dramatically short of international standards, IPI report indicates In vast majority of member states, defamation remains criminal offence punishable by imprisonment

VIENNA, July 17, 2014 – An International Press Institute (IPI) report on defamation law in the European Union (EU) indicates that EU member states fall dramatically short of fulfilling relevant international standards on freedom of expression, with the vast majority maintaining criminal defamation provisions that threaten the media’s ability to report on matters in the public interest.