Diego Garcia, Attorney General of Ecuador, said to the American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH by its Spanish acronym), which Ecuador is working on the elimination of criminal contempt in the legislation so this figure is no longer reflected in the draft Code of Criminal Integral that gave the Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa to the Assembly.
This project eliminates Articles from 230 to 235 it also certifies physical and verbal attacks against the president and other officials, but maintains the definition of slander against any public authority.
However, Article 121 punishes from 1 to 3 years imprisonment plus a fine of one to ten basic salaries unified to those that commit slanderous accusations against authority. When it involves a common citizen, the penalty is of 6 months to 2 years in prison. Similar bills contained in section 493 of the Penal Code are still in effect.
Assemblyman Cesar Montufar (CDN), presented the proposal to remove the contempt of criminal law and said the bill is not only maintained, but strengthened the proposal to include sanctions for religious sermons that question the authorities.
Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, expressed her concern over reports of the NGO Fundamedios regarding such offense. One of the questions asked by Botero was:
“(…) A person called the president and was mistreated fascist, later on the president apologized for the abuse (…) said that the people that called him fascist were committing a crime and that he felt it had to be processed. A woman in front of the presidential caravan made an obscene gesture and was detained for hours because she disrespected the president. Several journalists here have been prosecuted or convicted for disrespecting the honor of the president, but he and senior officials have accused journalists, and have told corrupt, crooks, and everyone here knows that that’s a crime, but have been told over imbeciles, idiots, and filth (…)”
“My question is: Is the crime applies only to citizens who may offend the honor of the officials, and so is the crime of contempt or a crime that is universally applicable, and therefore, the authorities have used such expressions would also be committing that crime?”