Greece: Alleged ‘Fake News’ Made a Crime

A criminal code provision that Greece’s parliament adopted on November 11, 2021, makes it a criminal offense to spread “fake news,” Human Rights Watch said.

The amended criminal code makes it a criminal offense to spread fake news that is “capable of causing concern or fear to the public or undermining public confidence in the national economy, the country’s defense capacity or public health,” punishable with up to five years in prison.

The new criminal measure comes at a time of rising concern about media freedom and the rule of law in Greece. In April, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) raised concerns that media freedom has been rapidly deteriorating in the country, including withholding government advertising from critical outlets, accusations of government censorship, and violence and harassment of journalists by police during demonstrations.