President Ramkalawan Assents to the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2021

20 October 2021 | Legal Affairs

President Wavel Ramkalawan has signed into law the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2021 passed by the National Assembly on 6th October 2021. The President received the documents from the National Assembly for assent on 15th October 2021 and signed the Act into law yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 19 October 2021).

The Act contains 29 amendments, of which one principal amendment was the repeal of Chapter XVIII of the Penal Code which effectively decriminalises defamation.  The charge of defamation can only be pursued as a civil case.

During his statement before assenting to the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2021, President Ramkalawan said removal of Chapter XVIII in its entirety reflects major strides in the right direction for Seychelles, in the arena of freedom of expression and in providing the right landscape and space for Journalists to practice their profession freely without fear of criminal prosecution.

The President assented to the Act witnessed by the Secretary of State for Cabinet Affairs, Mr Mohammed Afif, the Chairperson of the Media, Youth and Culture Committee in the National Assembly, Hon. Wavel Woodcock and the Chairperson of the Association of Media Practitioners Seychelles (AMPS), Mr Rassin Vannier.

Also present at State House for the ceremony was the Vice-President, Mr Ahmed Afif, The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Roger Mancienne, Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly, Hon. Bernard Georges, Members of the National Assembly for Anse Boileau. Hon. Phillip Arrisol and the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Media Commission, Mr Ibrahim Afif.

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