Venezuela approves anti-hate media law

Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly has passed a law its authors say ‘would punish messages of hate in broadcast and social media with penalties reaching 20 years in prison.’ According to Jose Miguel Vivanco of the New York-based Human Rights Watch, ‘The law seeks to end free speech in social media — a key space for Venezuelans to express themselves in a country with shrinking free speech avenues.’ However, the Constitutional Assembly president Delcy Rodriguez, supported it ‘as sending a strong message to anybody wanting to promote war. Rather, they should spread of “messages of peace,” she said.’ The law also prohibits targeted opposition political parties from registering with the government-controlled National Electoral Council saying that they ‘promote “fascism, intolerance or national hate.”‘