Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pakistani Party Threatens New York Times With Libel Suit

English: A 4 Megapixel picture of Badshahi Mos...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Former New York Times Pakistan Bureau Chief Declan Walsh and the Gray Lady herself  face a $10 million defamation suit from Pakistan's Muttahida Qaumi Movement party for allegedly sullying the reputation of the faction's leader-in-exile Altaf Hussain, the India Times reported this week.

The party demanded the Times and Walsh apologize for "baseless reporting" about Hussain, who has lived in London since an unsuccessful attempt on his life in Pakistan in 1992. Walsh was expelled from Pakistan in May of this year after the interim government accused him of engaging in "undesirable activities," according to the India Times article.

The article did not include a reaction from Times officials to the defamation claim. The paper may take solace in the SPEECH Act (Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage) [Pub. L. 111-223), which President Obama signed into law in 2010 (See TUOL" post 8/11/10). The measure prevents the enforcement of foreign libel judgments in U.S. courts if they run counter to protections afforded by the First Amendment.
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