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UDP Condemns PUP's Move to Criminalize Free Press

In a bold stance against what it calls an infringement on Belizeans' rights, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has strongly criticized the People's United Party (PUP) government's approval of amendments to the Criminal Code aimed at penalizing those who expose criminal activities through media outlets.

The UDP accused the PUP administration of attempting to stifle freedom of speech by proposing laws that would criminalize individuals publishing statements, footage, or evidence related to crimes. They lambasted the move as an act to suppress transparency and silence dissent.

Amid rising concerns over citizen security, the UDP emphasized the importance for Belizeans to remain informed about crime trends and activities. They argued that while such information may challenge the government's narrative on crime statistics, it also plays a crucial role in raising public awareness and ensuring personal safety.

The UDP's criticism extended to what they described as the PUP's consistent efforts to muzzle the media and restrict the publication of public information. They pointed to previous incidents, including threats to press freedom by the Elections and Boundaries Department, as evidence of a broader pattern of disregard for freedom of expression.

Furthermore, the UDP condemned the PUP's amendment to the Criminal Code from the previous year, which they claimed imposed severe penalties for criticizing public figures, effectively creating different tiers of citizenship.

Expressing disappointment but not surprise, the UDP vowed to oppose the government's measures and reiterated the importance of safeguarding freedom of speech as a fundamental right. They called for transparency and vowed to continue advocating for a government that respects and protects this essential liberty for all Belizeans.

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