06 October 2015

ECUADOR

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WHEREAS 2015 has become the most violent year for journalism, with attacks on media outlets and journalists exceeding the numbers seen in previous years WHEREAS the most prominent attacks are associated with enforcement of the Communication Act and proceedings implemented by the Superintendency of Information and Communication (Supercom) WHEREAS media outlets and journalists are largely vulnerable and are the primary victims of these attacks WHEREAS the primary aggressors include the State, government agencies and, in particular, the Ecuadorian president himself WHEREAS the Secretariat of Communication (Secom) opened an administrative proceeding to withdraw legal status from, and thereby dissolve, the Andean Foundation for the Observation and Study of the Media (Fundamedios), and, although Secom canceled this proceeding, it did so while maintaining its threat to dissolve FUNDAMEDIOS WHEREAS Principle 1 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states “No people or society can be free without freedom of expression and of the press. The exercise of this freedom is not something authorities grant, it is an inalienable right of the people.” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES To denounce before the international community that the enforcement of the Communication Act has demonstrated that this entity is an instrument for restricting freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and for encouraging self-censorship among media outlets and journalists To urge the government to suspend the activities taken by Supercom against the media, and to denounce its repressive and undemocratic nature before the human rights bodies of the United Nations and the Organization of American States To denounce before the international community that President Rafael Correa and his administration are the primary aggressors against media outlets and journalists To support the journalists and media outlets that are resisting this aggression and violence and to urge the government to pursue the path of tolerance and ensure the right of journalists to carry out critical, investigative, and independent journalism without having to face verbal and physical assaults, without having to fear the loss of their jobs, and without being subjected to legal and/or administrative action against them To demand that the government guarantee due process for media outlets and journalists, as well as the full right to a defense, in administrative actions stemming from enforcement of the Communication Act To invite Ecuadorian President Correa to seek an advisory opinion on the compatibility of the Communication Act with international standards on the basis of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights; this advisory opinion is needed to resolve the national and international dispute over the compatibility of this law with the international human rights standards accepted by the government To urge President Correa to pursue the path of tolerance, ensure people’s right to associate freely and, in particular, ensure that Fundamedios will continue to enjoy legal status.

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