17 November 2011

Campaigns and Advocacy

Human Rights Watch calls for decriminalisation of defamation


(Human Rights Watch/IFEX) - Washington, DC, November 14, 2011 - Ecuador should repeal insult laws (desacato) and all norms that criminalize defamation of public officials and institutions, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 14, 2011, Human Rights Watch submitted a joint amicus brief with the Center for Freedom of Expression and Information of the University of Palermo (Argentina) before the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, arguing that desacato norms violate Ecuador's international human rights obligations.

"Under international law, desacato laws grant an unjustified, special protection to public officials and therefore limit free expression and must be repealed," the brief says. "Such special protection should not exist given that, in a democracy, public officials should be subject to greater scrutiny and criticism, an essential element to promote debate about public interest matters."

The brief was submitted in a case brought before the Constitutional Court in May by the Ecuadorian nongovernmental organization Fundamedios. The case challenges article 230 of the Ecuadorian Criminal Code - under which anyone who "offends" the president or other government authorities may be sentenced to up to three months in prison for offending officials and up to two years for offending the president.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for November 16.




Click here to read the amicus brief (in Spanish)


Source:

Putting free expression issues in perspective.

Sign up to receive IFEX In Context.

 
More from Ecuador
  • The U-turn: Moreno steers Ecuador away from Correa's media repression

    Journalists say they will be wary until Moreno fulfills his promises to scale back the Communications Law and scrap the regulator that enforced it.

  • Freedom on the Net 2017: Ecuador

    Politically motivated takedown requests for alleged copyright violations targeted online news outlets and the websites of human rights organizations

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Ecuador

    Since its establishment under the 2013 Communications Law, Ecuador’s media regulator, known as SUPERCOM, has issued sanctions in more than 300 cases against media outlets.


At this point, would publish: "Home page"
At this point, would publish: "WPFC urges President and other authorities to eliminate "insult" laws"
 
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
Permission is granted for material on this website to be reproduced or republished in whole or in part provided the source member and/or IFEX is cited with a link to the original item.