Bill seeks to censor names of soldiers under investigation

March 30, 2016 16:26

Legislation banning the publication a soldier in active duty's name if he is under investigation passed passed a first reading in the Knesset Wednesday.

The initiative proposed by Zionist Union MKs Eyal Ben-Reuven and Tzipi Livni would apply to investigations of possible crimes committed while the soldier is on duty.

Though the bill was proposed long before, the issue of publicizing soldiers' names made headlines this week after the Beit Shemesh Municipality promoted a demonstration in favor of the IDF soldier accused of killing an already-subdued Palestinian terrorist. The soldier's photo and name, both under a gag order, were featured on the municipality's website. In addition, the soldier's name and picture have been shared widely on social media.

If the bill becomes law - which is likely, as it has support from the coalition - it would be illegal to publish a soldier's name before the soldier is indicted, if he or she is not indicted after the investigation, if the soldier is charged with a crime but not convicted yet, or if he or she is acquitted.

Publishing the name would carry a six-month prison sentence.

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