Sunday, 21st February 2010

Front against ‘censorship’
Juan Ameen
The newly formed Front Against Censorship is organising a protest in an attempt to convince Parliament to change Malta’s “outdated and theocratic” censorship laws.

Through the protest, the association, made up of 11 student organisations, is campaigning to amend five laws it believes limit people’s freedom of expression and which carry overly-harsh sentences including imprisonment.

The protest will be held on Wednesday and start off at City Gate, Valletta, at 5 p.m., ending outside Parliament. Ingram Bondin, from the association, said everyone, including politicians, was invited to take part.

Mr Bondin said yesterday during a press conference held outside Parliament that there were about nine cases of censorship last year, including the ban on university newspaper Realta’ for publishing the short story Li Tkisser Sewwi and the play Stitching.

The association is calling on authorities to remove the law which bans anyone from making any form of artistic criticism of the country’s official religion and to eliminate the Stage and Film Classification Board’s power to censor or ban plays and films.

It also wants to remove a clause in the Press Act which states print material cannot publish any criticism of public morals and to abolish the Broadcasting Authority’s power to ban adult programmes after 9 p.m.

The association wants to see the reform the Pornography Act which, it believes, contains a blanket definition of sex.

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