The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) argues that Ecuador Communications Law adopted on Saturday by the regime leader Rafael Correa, “formalizes the media-gag with a new series of press offenses.” According to the IAPA, the law benefits the Government on the right to inform the citizens.
IAPA reports that last Saturday, when Correa adopted the law without changing it, subsequently the law went into effect on a crime called “media lynching”, defined as the dissemination of information for the purpose of discrediting or reduce the credibility of natural or legal persons.
Claudio Paolillo, President of the Commission on Freedom of the Press and Information of IAPA, said “this figure weakens journalistic research processes and prevents the public, the citizens, to know what the powers try to hide.”
Paolillo said the law establishes a new offense of contempt and this gives special privileges to the authorities on the citizens of the same country, this provision has been removed from the criminal codes of most of the countries of the Americas, only the more authoritarian maintain them. “The law not only validates the media-gag but establishes prior censorship and creates the instances that will identify and punish the violations, ruling giving absolute power to eliminate freedom of speech and press,” he added.
The IAPA questions the Council Regulation and the Superintendent of the information for their power to sanction and monitor compliance with those standards.