Through an open letter sent to the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, the organization Reporteros sin Fronteras (RSF) requested him to remove the “exorbitant lawsuits” against several media. This document was signed by General Secretary Jean-François Julliard.
This organization recognizes “the gravity of the allegations” made against the president in those publications, but believes that such trials are “very dangerous for freedom of expression.”
In the first lawsuit, Correa claimed to journalist Juan Carlos Calderon and Christian Zurita about $ 10 million dollars for questioning “certain contracts between the president and his brother, Fabricio Correa in the book ‘Big Brother’.” Then in the second suit, the ruling requested $ 80 million to the directors of newspaper “El Universo” Carlos, Cesar and Nicolas Perez and against the writer Emilio Palacio, plus penalties of three years imprisonment for each of them.
“Irrespective of the veracity of such allegations and tone, in the case of the article ‘El Universo’ these issues of public relevance and merit a substantive response from you,” the RSF wrote adding that it is a “a political mistake” because if Correa wins in the referendum he will “not only promote a whole culture to self-censorship, but also further polarize the press.”
Source: Daily El Comercio