CARACAS, VENEZUELA – Venezuela’s all-powerful constitutional assembly has passed a wide-reaching law that clamps down on the media and orders prison sentences of up to 20 years for anyone who ‘instigates hate.’
The law passed Wednesday by the pro-government assembly prohibits Venezuelans from spreading any message through TV, radio or social media that instigates violence or hate. What does constitute such incitement will be up to the government to decide.
Penalties for breaking the law will be stiff: Anyone who publicly promotes hate aimed at specific groups – including for political orientation – could potentially face 10 to 20 years in prison.
President Nicolas Maduro and his allies frequently accuse the opposition of promoting hate.
The new law also allows the state to order public or private media outlets to broadcast messages ‘aimed at promoting peace’ for a period of 30 minutes every week.