The Times -Saturday, 9th January 2010 – 13:41CET

Outdated censorship laws should be abolished – AD

Alternattiva Demokratika has reiterated its solidarity with university student and editor of the student newspaper Ir-Realta Mark Camilleri and called for the abolition of outdated censorship and obscenity laws.

The part said these should be replaced with a rating system to protect children and with laws against hate crimes and against the instigation of violence against people because of their like ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender.

AD spokesman on EU and international affairs Arnold Cassola said:

“This type of medieval style censorship is unacceptable by EU standards.”

He said the government should not hide behind the smokescreen of anachronistic laws while the police prosecuted people for content similar to that found in foreign literary works legally imported and sold in bookshops.

Prof. Cassola said that if the Labour opposition really meant business in promoting a secular and progressive agenda it should present a bill in parliament to replace anachronistic laws with regulations fitting a modern European democracy.

“The literary merit or lack of it is not the point here. What is unacceptable, in this day and age is to censor a student newspaper simply because of their explicit content or the opinions expressed by fictional characters,” he said.

AD called on the university authorities to lift the ban on Ir-Realta.

It said it was ironic that while a lot of controversy surrounded Mr Camilleri’s newspaper, nothing was said about the Studenti Demokristjani Maltin which interviewed Norman Lowell and published his beliefs on the internet.

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