BEIRUT: A group of experts called Tuesday on regional governments to undergo a comprehensive review of the national criminal laws that affect freedom of expression.
According to a statement adopted by experts from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen, the aim of the review was “to amend the legal frameworks and make them compatible with international standards of freedom of expression, taking into account national and regional contexts.”
Despite recent progress in many Arab countries, there are still problems manifested by wide and vague criminal restrictions imposed on content that is published or broadcast, the statement said.
The group also called for criminal prohibitions on media content to be canceled, or, if implemented through investigations and prosecutions, to take place fairly and independently.
The statement came as a result of a workshop organized a few days ago in Beirut and was prepared by the Maharat Foundation, the Center for Law and Democracy and the International Foundation for Media Support.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 30, 2014, on page 4.