Mongolian media goes dark to protest restrictive law
Ahead of the presidential election on 26th June 2017, conflicts between the ruling Mongolian People’s Party and the media intensified over a proposed bill which would have the effect of censoring the media. Mongolia's parliament is considering a change to the Law on Infringement, which would allow police to levy fines of up to $41,000 on media that spread libelous or defamatory information. The change would allow the authorities to impose sanctions without going through the courts. To protest the proposed bill, on 27th April more than a dozen TV stations went dark and at least seven newspapers printed their front pages entirely in black. Mongolia's media sector has expanded significantly in the last twenty years, however, concerns over defamation laws and censorship through ownership have existed for some time.
The 26th June election, which produced an inconclusive result, were also marred by allegations of corruption, and a case involving intimidation of a whistleblower who released an audio file allegedly incriminating one of the leading candidates.