Malta : Still in the Middle Ages

‘Malta still in the middle ages’ – AD participates in anti-censorship march


Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party is participating in the anti-censorship march organised by the Front Against Censorship.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: ‘It seems though Malta has joined the European Union, in many aspects we are still in the middle ages. It is disturbing that state institutions should decide what is acceptable and what is not within the arts. This is reminiscent of dictatorial regimes – from North Korea to Iran – whose state structures aim to create a monolithic conformist identity, devoid of freedom In advanced modern societies where individuals are reflexive, such imposition from the state is unacceptable’.

‘In various respects, proposed legislation on censorship increase repression on freedom of speech. AD believes that no artistic production should be banned, provided there are clear guides such as age classification and warnings on content shown. AD is also firmly in favour of educational reforms which enhance the reflexivity and responsibility of individuals, such as the teaching of comprehensive sexual education and the values of tolerance and respect. A difference should also be made between art and the spreading of hate such as that of the neo-nazi type’.

‘If the recent decision of the Civil Court on the “Stitching” play were to be applied consistently, then, we might as well close down our film-theatres for showing films full of violence and explicit content. We might as well ban MTV for showing provocative videos and empty bookshelves for having books that are deemed “incompatible”‘.

Yvonne Arqueros Ebejer, AD spokesperson for Civil Rights, added: ‘Freedom of expression is a civil right.  It is a cornerstone of a democratic society. This right also protects opinions that shock, disturb or offend, as long as they do not incite violence or hatred. However, the right to freedom of expression has come under pressure from various sides. Greens will continue to resist attempts to compromise the right of expression, even where it may clash with religious or other beliefs.

‘AD supports the Front Against Censorship and we once again, together with the European Green Party, we express our solidarity with Mark Camilleri and Alex Vella Gera who were taken to court due to their respective roles in Realta’ newspaper’.

‘Whilst other political parties are ultimately stuck in time when it comes to freedom of expression,  Alternattiva Demokratika – the Green party is clear and consistent in its position for the modernisation of censorship laws as befits a modern democracy’.