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Ukrainian journalists face up to 5 years in jail for disclosing private life information

January 24, 2012, 18:31 UTC+3
Collection, storing, use and distribution of confidential information about individuals without their consent is an interference in personal and family life
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KIEV, January 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The Ukrainian Constitutional Court has ruled that the collection, storing, use and distribution of confidential information about individuals without their consent is an interference in personal and family life, which is permitted exclusively in the cases defined by the law and in the interests of national security, economic well being and human rights.

Constitutional Court Chairman Anatoly Golovin announced the decision on Tuesday.

The Court has thus given an interpretation of certain articles of the Ukrainian constitution by request of the Zhashkovsky district council in the Cherkassy region, which asked to explain the essence of information about personal and family life and to say whether such information was confidential.

From now on, Ukrainian journalists, who often write about the personal life of politicians and businessmen without their consent, would be fined from $1,000 to over $2,000 or sentenced up to two years of correctional labor or an arrest of up to six months of an imprisonment of up to three years. If the offense repeats, such journalists may be imprisoned for up to five years.

Journalists are given an opportunity to prove their innocence. Article 29 of the Law on Information says that the journalist may be pronounced not guilty if the disclosed information has public significance, which outweighs the potential damage.

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