21 February 2017 at 08:53 BST

Crowds gather to oppose new internet law in Malta

Thousands of people gathered in Malta's capital Valetta in protest of a new bill that will force internet news sites to register with the government.

Pavel Ignatov

Freedom of speech is under threat, say critics

Vow to scrap plan

And in efforts to gain political favour, the leader of Malta's opposition Nationalist Party (NP) has promised to scrap the plan if he wins next year's general election.

'This is a restriction on Internet freedom and a future Nationalist government will repeal it if it gets approved by parliament,' NP leader Simon Busuttil told the rally in Valletta.

New bill

The bill was announced by the government last week and has yet to go before parliament.

The proposed law would require all websites carrying news and controlled from Malta to register with the government.

Those that fail to comply would face the threat of fines.

The government says it is following the same procedure as already exists for newspapers.

Source: Reuters


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