UK Journalists' Union Expresses Concern Over Draft Counter-Terrorism Bill

UK Journalists' Union Expresses Concern Over Draft Counter-Terrorism Bill

The UK National Union of Journalists on Tuesday expressed concern over the draft Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, suggesting it might hamper the freedom of speech and lacks safeguards for journalists.

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2018) The UK National Union of Journalists on Tuesday expressed concern over the draft Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, suggesting it might hamper the freedom of speech and lacks safeguards for journalists.

The bill is being considered by the House of Commons at the report stage and the third reading on Tuesday.

"The National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ) remains concerned by proposals contained within the draft counter terrorism and border security bill - a number of clauses could gravely endanger legitimate, public interest, media reporting of terrorists and terrorism. We are alarmed by the potential implications for investigative journalists; and by the lack of adequate safeguards for journalists and journalism on the face of the bill," the NUJ said in a briefing for lawmakers, published on the union's website.

The union noted that the clause on the expression of support for a banned organization lacked clarity as to what type of expression would be considered as an offense. Additionally, the NUJ expressed its concern that the prohibition of the publication of certain images could impact journalism and historical archives. Moreover, the NUJ said that clause restricting viewing certain materials online might criminalize journalistic research since journalists were often required to view various materials on the internet.

In July, the bill came under fire from the lawmakers' Joint Committee on Human Rights, which said that it made an infringement on the freedom of expression. The committee also slammed the bill's proposal to extend the retention of biometric data of terror suspects.

The Home Office-backed bill has passed the first and second readings in the House of Commons earlier this year.

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