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Argentina president introduces bill to decriminalize libel and slander

[JURIST] Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner [BBC profile] proposed a new bill [speech transcript, in Spanish] Friday that would erase libel and slander as crimes, part of a broader plan to change the way Argentina's telecommunications businesses are run. Opponents of that bill argue that its provisions, particularly those opening up cable television services to telephone companies, are aimed at helping companies sympathetic [Buenos Aires Herald report] to Kirchner. The media bill would also stop anti-competitiveness and create a new agency to govern appropriate content.

Kirchner made her announcement at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the arrival in Argentina of members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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