CPJ hails elimination of criminal defamation in Jamaica

New York, November 7, 2013–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the repeal of criminal libel provisions by the Jamaican Parliament on Tuesday as a step forward in the campaign to eliminate criminal defamation in the Americas.

“This represents real progress for freedom of expression in Jamaica, where journalists will no longer face threat of prison for what they write,” said CPJ Senior Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría. “It is also a milestone in the campaign to repeal criminal defamation throughout the Americas.”

For more than a decade, courts and legislatures throughout the region have found that civil remedies provide adequate redress in cases of alleged libel and slander. But some governments in the Americas, including Ecuador and Peru, continue to use archaic criminal defamation laws to silence dissent.