The Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic guarantees everyone freedom of thought and speech. Everyone has the right of freedom to seek, to receive, to submit, to produce and to spread information in any legal way. Also, freedom of mass information is guaranteed. Censorship is prohibited.
Dissemination of false information, with the result that rights to inviolability of honor, dignity and business reputation of a citizen are violated, and also, dissemination of information of private life, an individual has a right of access to courts for protection of his/her violated rights.
A legislator highlights two categories of information, taking into account claims of Article 197 of CC DPR, a rebuttal of which a citizen has the right to require in court:
- defamatory information about honor, dignity and business reputation of a citizen;
- any information about a citizen, which is untrue.
Rebuttal should be made the same way, as information about a natural person was disseminated, or a similar way. Protection of honor, dignity and business reputation of a natural person and after his/her death is permitted on demand.
Clause 2 Article 197 of CC DPR prescribes that defamatory information about honor, dignity and business reputation of a natural person and dissemination in mass-media should be refuted in the same mass-media. A natural person, in respect of whomб specified information was spread in mass-media, has the right to demand publishing his/her respond along with the rebuttal in the same mass-media.
In cases, when defamatory information of honor, dignity and business reputation became well-known and in this regard, it is impossible to bring to the common attention the rebuttal, a natural person has right to demand deletion relevant information, and also suppression and prohibition further dissemination specified information through exemption or destruction without any compensation of manufactured copies of material hosts, which were made to introduce into civilian circulation, containing specified information if it is impossible to delete relevant information without its destruction (Clause 4 Article 197 of CC DPR).
If such information was available on the Internet after its dissemination, a natural person has right to demand disposal of relevant information, and also a rebuttal of specified information, providing to bring the rebuttal to users of the Internet (Clause 5 Article 197 of CC DPR).
Owners of websites and (or) pages on the Internet (bloggers), in this regard, should follow the requirements of the legislation of DPR, regulating the order of dissemination of mass information.
Moreover, protection of honor, dignity and business reputation of an individual, in respect of whom false information was disseminated, isn’t excluded even in the case when it is impossible to identify a distributor of such information (e.g. directing of anonymous letters or dissemination information on the Internet by an individual that isn’t identified). In this case, an individual also has the right of access to court with the statement of recognition false information of him/her, which was disseminated.
Article 197 of CC DPR provides that a citizen, in respect of whom defamatory information about honor, dignity and business reputation was disseminated, has right to demand compensation for losses and moral injury caused by the dissemination of such information.
Norms of Article 197 of CC DPR on the protection of business reputation of a natural person, except for clauses on the compensation of moral injury, applying to the protection of business reputation of a natural person.
Rules of Clauses 1 – 9 Article 197 of CC DPR, except for clauses on the compensation of moral injury, may be applied by the court also to cases of dissemination any untrue information about a natural person. The statute of limitations, bringing in connection with dissemination specified information in mass-media, is one year from the day of publication such information in relevant mass-media.
It should be noted that the fact of dissemination of untrue defamatory information about honor, dignity and business reputation may be confirmed any proves, meeting the requirements of relevance, admissibility and credibility. A defendant has a duty to prove the relevance of disseminated information to reality. A plaintiff, in turn, has to prove the fact of dissemination of defamatory information by an individual against which a claim is made. An individual, who has disseminated some form of information, is discharged if he/she proved that such information, in general, is true.