Law against digital disinformation submitted to parliament
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have submitted a draft bill to parliament against digital disinformation that stipulates a prison sentence of up to three years against those who knowingly disseminate misleading information via social media.
The 40-article draft bill was submitted to parliament late on May 25 jointly by the AKP and the MHP. Some articles of the draft law introduce new rights for the news websites and include them into the existing Press Code like other conventional media.
Article 29 of the draft aims to fight against disinformation and add the crime of publicly disseminating misleading information to the people to the Penal Code. According to the article, “Anyone who publicly disseminates false information regarding the internal and external security, public order and general health of the country, in a way that is suitable for disturbing the public peace, with the sole motive of creating anxiety, fear or panic among the people, will be sentenced to imprisonment from one year to three years.”
If the crime is committed by hiding the real identity of the perpetrator or within the framework of the activities of an organization, the penalty will be increased by half.
The opposition parties oppose the bill as a new attempt to restrict online media.