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Tabloid covers parliament's act

Adjudication
9 December 1998

EPC discussed a complaint made by the Chairman of the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Daimar Liiv concerning the articles published in ’htuleht on 24 September 1998 headlined “One must pay for rape” (by Riho Lumi) and “Riigikogu voted Estonia out of civilized world”.

Daimar Liiv says that the articles describe the situation inadequately and unprofessionally.

’htuleht provided no explanations as regards the articles.

EPC states that the complaint does not point out any false facts presented by the journalists. The complaint gives an overview of the current situation that does not differ in its content from the facts of the articles.

’htuleht has every right to publish critical views on the activities of legislator and the legislator has to accept close public attention. EPC states that a law text should be written in a clear manner and carry a single meaning.

If the Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee found the contents of the articles inaccurate he should have asked for an opportunity for rebuttal (Clause 5.2 of the Code of Ethics) and clarified the essence of the law to the general public.

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