With more than 20 international organisations we have written a joint letter to European Commissioner Vice President Věra Jourová calling on her to include everyone who has been impacted by SLAPP lawsuits in the European Union’s proposed new rules.
Vice-President Vera Jourová
Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
Brussels, 27 January 2020
RE: Including all affected groups in anti-SLAPP legislation
Dear Vice-President Jourová,
We are pleased to hear that you are preparing EU legislation to deter Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). We believe this is extremely important to safeguard freedom of expression, and advocacy and assembly rights in the EU, and would like to request a meeting with you to discuss our experiences and expectations.
It is our strong view that the legislation must cover everybody who is affected by SLAPPs.
Some of the most striking examples include journalists, such as Maltese reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, who had 47 SLAPPs pending against her at the time of her assassination. The award-winning journalist Carole Cadwalladr, who exposed the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal, is also facing a SLAPP.
Besides journalists and the media, SLAPPs are also used to target academia, trade unionists, activists, civil society organisations and individual citizens, including human rights defenders. In essence, SLAPPs are used to silence individuals and organisations that play a watchdog role and hold those in positions of power to account.
There are many examples of unjustified legal action against these actors in the EU. These are some examples:
At a time when there is no anti-SLAPP legislation in force in any EU member state, strong EU anti-SLAPP measures, including legislation and legal funds for victims, will help protect those most vulnerable to such legal harassment, and send a strong political message that the EU is ready to stand up for its citizens and protect fundamental rights.
Magda Stoczkiewicz Deputy Director, Greenpeace European Unit
On behalf of the following organisations:
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