Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said Monday his country would freeze plans to ratify a controversial international online anti-piracy accord after mounting off-and-online protests.

 

“The cabinet cannot accept a situation in which the bedrock of liberty and free access to information is endangered,” Necas was quoted as saying by the Czech news agency CTK.

He said the government would undertake a thorough review of the “real world” impact of ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

 

Later Monday, neighbouring Slovakia also suspended its ratification process, with Economy Minister Juraj Miskov saying a wide public debate needed to be initiated before the process could continue.

“I will not support a treaty that could limit human rights and freedoms,” Miskov said in a statement.

The decision by the Czech and Slovaks government comes in the wake of a move last week by Poland, which also froze its ratification process.

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