MEPs ask European Commission to look into new Czech press law

05-05-2009

Liberal MEPs from Germany and France are calling upon the European Commission to look into the so-called ‘muzzle law’ recently implemented in the Czech Republic. As of April, the Czech press has been forbidden from publishing the names of victims of crime during the investigation process. Under the new law, the national media has also been banned from publishing transcripts of police wiretaps. On Tuesday, German MEP Alexander Alvaro called the law an ‘unprecedented curtailment of freedom of speech and press freedom’. Alongside a French colleague, he called upon the European Commission to look into whether the law was at variance with EU statutes. Meanwhile in the Czech Republic, a group of senators, lead by Christian Democrat Petr Pithart, is planning to take a complaint about the new law to the Constitutional Court.