Government pleased with “voice of reason” in censorship saga

Justice and Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici expressed his satisfaction that at last the voice of reason is dominating over political opportunism. This was announced in a reaction to a statement by Opposition MP Owen Bonnici who called on the government to set up a committee to discuss the classification of obscenities.

Dr Mifsud Bonnici also stated that he looked forward to supervise the meetings of the committee so as to be able to listen to all opinions in the general public regarding such an important issue and also the necessity to protect young children. He declared that the committee will be also monitoring racism and xenophobia.

MCCA quoted a UN statement which says that “cultural diversity can be protected and promoted only if human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, information and communication, as well as the ability of individuals to choose cultural expressions, are guaranteed.” It also said that classification of works by artists should not only reflect the public’s sensibleness but also contemporary realities.

The Institute of Maltese Journalists (IĠM) has called on the government to update current archaic laws on the freedom of expression, so as to reflect the realities of today’s world and to conform with European Union laws.

Leading Maltese authors have signed a statement to express regret about censorship and what they called “the institutionalised curbing of free expression” in Malta.

According to Dr Mifsud Bonnici, the Prime Minister will be shortly nominating the government MPs to the committee, hoping the Opposition would do the same.

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