Scrutinise anti-gay bill, it’s likely to resurrect criminal libel law – Afenyo-MarkinDeputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has called for increased media scrutiny of the Anti-Gay Bill currently before Parliament.

Scrutinise anti-gay bill, it’s likely to resurrect criminal libel law – Afenyo-MarkinDeputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has called for increased media scrutiny of the Anti-Gay Bill currently before Parliament.

He expressed concern that the bill could inadvertently reintroduce elements of the repealed criminal libel law for journalists and media houses reporting on LGBTQ+ activities.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin voiced his opposition to custodial sentences for individuals found guilty of engaging in LGBTQ+ activities.

On Thursday, February 8, Parliament approved a three-to-five-year jail term for individuals who intentionally promoted or sponsored LGBTQ+ activities. Those caught in the act could face a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years in prison.

During the amendment process of the bill promoting proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values, Mr. Afenyo-Markin argued that punitive measures would not contribute to the rehabilitation of the offenders.

He expressed concern about the state of the country’s prisons and their inability to provide the necessary rehabilitation for offenders.

The Effutu lawmaker proposed replacing a minimum two-month imprisonment sentence with a minimum one-month community service for individuals found guilty of LGBTQ+ activities.

In an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, Mr. Afenyo-Markin urged journalists to pay more attention to the bill to ensure it does not infringe upon the rights of individuals.

“I do not think the media has paid due regard to this bill because it is written in ink that if a media house expresses any editorial policy on any issue regarding sexuality, that media house and its members or that media person will be jailed. If you impose custodial sentences, you are setting the country back to where, as a country, we said a journalist who errs must face civil liability instead of criminal consequences.”

“We all have to be very careful and pay due attention to the issue in Parliament…And then also those journalists or media houses who may be writing their own editorials or who may be expressing views about it, or talking about it. It is not just talking about you promoting it. Just mentioning it in itself is a crime.”

Source: Citinewsroom.com

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