Media Law Roundup: August 16th

Vietnam decree prevents social media posts from linking to outside news reports

A new decree in Vietnam states that blogs and social media posts must only contain personal information, and cannot quote or share news from other sites. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved the ban on July 15th, and it is set to come into effect on September 1st, although punishment for violations is still being drafted. The ban prompted huge outcry among citizens, who slammed the decree on social media platforms.

Myanmar press council to request appointment with president

Although initially the Press Council and the Ministry of Information planned to draft the media law together and submit it to parliament, the Ministry of Information submitted the Printing and Publishing Entreprise Bill to the parliament without consultation with and to the dismay of the Press Council.  The Press Council plans to meet with the President to seek amendments to the bill, which has already been approved by the Lower House, as well as to request support for their own version of the media bill.

Sports draw attention to Russia’s anti- gay propaganda laws

The World Athletics Championships in Russia, and the upcoming 2014 winter Olympics to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, have drawn greater international attention to Russia’s law prohibiting “gay propoganda” toward children. Passed June 30th, the law introduces fines for promoting “non- traditional” sexual relations and orientations to minors, including through the Internet and other media. Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told reporters at the World Athletics Championship, that he believed the the problem and controversy surrounding the law was invented by the Western media. Critics of the law argue that it leaves open the possibility to prosecute any individuals voicing support for gay rights, violates the rights of the LGBT community, and fans homophobia in Russia.

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