Television stations protest proposed limitations on free speech

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Mongolian television stations and newspapers shared a message that read “People’s right to know is under major threat”.

On Wednesday, a number of Mongolian television stations abandoned their regular programming to broadcast a message that read “People’s right to know is under major threat”, and all daily newspapers published this message on their front pages. The message was shared in response to proposed articles in a bill on misdemeanors.

During a meeting of the Standing Committee on Law held on Tuesday, an initial review of the proposed legislation was carried out.

The bill, dubbed by some as the Law on Conflict, includes the following proposals for new legislation and penalties for misdemeanors:
1. Individuals who are found guilty of defamation on Facebook, Twitter, and other media channels will be fined 10 million MNT, and an enterprise found guilty of defamation will be fined 100 million MNT.

2. Doctors in violation of their legal responsibilities will be responsible for the financial compensation of damages to victims and fined one million MNT. Hospitals in violation of professional ethics will be suspended from offering medical services for one year.

3. Medical facilities that suspend the provision of emergency medical and maternity care will be responsible for the financial compensation of damages to victims, their operations will be suspended for one year, and penalties of 200,000 MNT for individuals and 2 million MNT for enterprises will be applied.

4. Individuals and enterprises improperly disposing of waste will be responsible for the financial compensation of damages, and charges of 30,000 MNT for individuals and 300,000 MNT for enterprises will be applied.

5. An individual who spits or litters in a public space will be fined 10,000 MNT.

6. A person illegally possessing a knife or other weapons without a proper license will be fined 25,000 MNT and their weapons will be seized.

7. A person who fails to report domestic violence will be fined 50,000 MNT.

8. An individual responsible for a loud noise complaint in the evening in a residential area will be fined 100,000 MNT, and enterprises will be charged one million MNT.

9. A person who establishes and operates a gambling venue will be charged a fine of two million MNT and enterprises will be fined 20 million MNT.

10. Individuals and enterprises organizing a rally without a legal permit, or changing the purpose of a permitted rally without permission, will be made responsible for financial compensation for damages. An individual will be charged 150,000 MNT and enterprises will be fined 1.5 million MNT.

11. Individuals and enterprises will be responsible for financial compensation for damages from burning trash; an individual will be fined 50,000 MNT and enterprises will be fined 500,000 MNT.

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