29 February 2012

Campaigns and Advocacy

Fundamedios welcomes "El Universo" pardon, but calls for continued monitoring of government's actions


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(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 27 February 2012 - Fundamedios celebrates President Rafael Correa's announcement of the pardon granted to journalist Emilio Palacio, the main executives of the newspaper "El Universo", Carlos, César and Nicolás Pérez, and the company that edits the paper, as a victory for Ecuadorians' freedom of expression.

We highlight the gesture of also including the withdrawal of the civil lawsuit against journalists Juan Carlos Calderón and Christian Zurita, authors of the book “El Gran Hermano. We consider the international community's unanimous condemnation and internal political consequences as being determining factors in this outcome.

However, we are aware that the content and the tone of the presidential announcement do not encourage a feeling of optimism. They do not lead us to believe that the Ecuadorian government will reverse its policy of constant and systematic harassment against journalists and the private and independent media.

We want to draw attention to the repeated attacks against the Inter-American System of Human Rights, including the IACHR and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. We prompt the international community to remain alert of any attempt to take down or weaken a scheme for the protection of rights that was consolidated with much effort over a long period of time.

We believe that journalists, the media that fight for press freedom, and democratic citizens all over the world should remain alert to what is happening in Ecuador, because those who hold political power have announced they will not cease in their efforts to debilitate the press, not just in Ecuador, but also in the wider world.

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More on this case

IFEX-ALC acknowledges Ecuadoran president's decision 19 March 2012 Government supporters start campaign opposing international press and human rights organisations 29 February 2012 President pardons "El Universo" executives and writers; drops lawsuit against "El Gran Hermano" authors 28 February 2012 Fundamedios condemns brutal blow against fundamental freedoms 23 February 2012 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights orders suspension of sentences against "El Universo" 22 February 2012 Panama grants diplomatic asylum to "El Universo" director 21 February 2012 Judge claims president's attorney dictated original sentence against "El Universo" 16 February 2012 Sentence against "El Universo" is a setback for democracy 16 February 2012 Tribunal sets new date for the review of facts in "El Universo" case 14 February 2012 National Court of Justice ratifies three-year prison sentence against Emilio Palacio 5 January 2012 Former columnist faces second lawsuit for slander 19 October 2011 "El Universo" threatened with two more lawsuits 30 September 2011 Tribunal upholds sentencing of newspaper, its directors and former feature writer on defamation charge 22 September 2011 President's attorney asks public prosecutor to initiate additional legal action against "El Universo" newspaper 8 September 2011 Faced with ongoing legal action, journalist decides to leave the country 30 August 2011 Defence lawyers question judge's independence in case against newspaper; opinion editor faces new lawsuit 25 August 2011 Cyber activists hack municipality's webpage in protest against government's attacks on free expression 11 August 2011 Newspaper directors, writer sentenced to three years in prison, US$40 million fine 21 July 2011 Columnist resigns in attempt to stop president's lawsuit against paper 12 July 2011 President requests more than 150 reports about directors and feature writer in connection with lawsuit against newspaper 24 June 2011 President demands US$80 million in case against newspaper, directors and feature writer 1 April 2011
 
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At this point, would publish: "Home page"
At this point, would publish: "IFEX members urge President to withdraw US$80 million lawsuit against paper"
At this point, would publish: "Government media outlets attempt to link founder and owner of newspaper to corrupt businesses"
At this point, would publish: "President requests more than 150 reports about directors and feature writer in connection with lawsuit against newspaper"
At this point, would publish: "Columnist resigns in attempt to stop president's lawsuit against paper"
At this point, would publish: "Newspaper directors, writer sentenced to three years in prison, US$40 million fine"
At this point, would publish: "Cyber activists hack municipality's webpage in protest against government's attacks on free expression"
At this point, would publish: "Defence lawyers question judge's independence in case against newspaper; opinion editor faces new lawsuit"
At this point, would publish: "Faced with ongoing legal action, journalist decides to leave the country"
At this point, would publish: "President's attorney asks public prosecutor to initiate additional legal action against "El Universo" newspaper"
At this point, would publish: "Tribunal upholds sentencing of newspaper, its directors and former feature writer on defamation charge"
At this point, would publish: ""El Universo" threatened with two more lawsuits"
At this point, would publish: "Former columnist faces second lawsuit for slander"
At this point, would publish: "Se denuncia que sentencia contra diario fue elaborada por abogados del presidente de la república"
At this point, would publish: "National Court of Justice ratifies three-year prison sentence against Emilio Palacio"
At this point, would publish: "Tribunal sets new date for the review of facts in "El Universo" case"
At this point, would publish: "Sentence against "El Universo" is a setback for democracy"
At this point, would publish: "Judge claims president's attorney dictated original sentence against "El Universo""
At this point, would publish: "Panama grants diplomatic asylum to "El Universo" director"
At this point, would publish: "Inter-American Commission on Human Rights orders suspension of sentences against "El Universo""
At this point, would publish: "Fundamedios condemns brutal blow against fundamental freedoms"
At this point, would publish: "Government supporters start campaign opposing international press and human rights organisations"
At this point, would publish: "President pardons "El Universo" executives and writers; drops lawsuit against "El Gran Hermano" authors"
At this point, would publish: "IFEX-ALC acknowledges Ecuadoran president's decision"
At this point, would publish: "President demands US$80 million in case against newspaper, directors and feature writer"
 
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