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Maldives President Signs Tough Law Criminalizing Defamation

A law that criminalizes defamation and provides for steep fines and jail terms for violators took effect in the Maldives with the president signing it Thursday despite widespread public outcry. President Yameen Abdul Gayoom ratified the bill passed by Parliament on Tuesday. The law criminalizes speech, writing and even sounds that are deemed defamatory or against any tenet of Islam. It puts the burden of proof on defendants. Convicted media companies and individual bloggers and social...

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