10 November 2010

IAPA to send its resolutions to governments and supra-national organizations

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Miami (November 10, 2010) .- The Inter American Press Society (IAPA) approved at the close of its 66th General Assembly 22 resolutions; the official documents will be sent to relevant government officials throughout the Americas and to representatives of Inter-American institutions.
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Miami (November 10, 2010) .- The Inter American Press Society (IAPA) approved at the close of its 66th General Assembly 22 resolutions; the official documents will be sent to relevant government officials throughout the Americas and to representatives of Inter-American institutions.

The resolutions, available at http://www.sipiapa.org, address specific issues of press freedom in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.  Another resolution declares 2011 as the Year of Freedom of Expression; six more, in addition, follow up and demand justice in cases of murdered journalists.

A final resolution concerns initiatives and legal restrictions affecting freedom of expression and information which, as stated in the meeting’s conclusions, "there exist along and across the Americas renewed efforts to enforce laws designed to 'regulate' how the media functions. Although often expressed in lofty terms, they are obvious attempts to control and limit the free flow of information." The following is the full text of the resolution on Media Laws: 

WHEREAS Latin America is seeing a renewed proliferation of government attempts to impose legal provisions aimed at “regulating” the operation and freedoms of news media; 

WHEREAS these initiatives already have the force of law in Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela, where under the argument of making information “more democratic,” combating “discrimination” and producing a so-called “social control” of the press governments have been authorized to influence media content; 

WHEREAS in Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay the governments have announced that they will introduce “media laws” to “regulate” the operation and freedoms of news media; 

WHEREAS this regional trend has a philosophic origin in governments and non-governmental organizations that are convinced – as they publicly proclaim – that freedom of information should be limited; 

WHEREAS almost all these concepts – existing or planned – create “watchdogs” over media and/or control bodies under the authority of the Executive Branch; 

WHEREAS the “media laws” that already apply in some countries and the proposals for “media laws” that are being studied by others directly violate principles 1, 2, 5, 7 and 9 of the Declaration of Chapultepec; 

WHEREAS Principle 5 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states “Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press”.

THE IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES 

To express its condemnation of the laws “regulating” news media already existing in Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela in that they severely curtail the human right to freedom of expression; 

To state its great concern at the possibility that these mechanisms of governmental control of the operation and freedoms of news media could also come about in Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay; 

To invite the special rapporteurs for freedom of expression of the Organization of American States (OAS) and United Nations to take up this serious issue in a bid to prevent violations of the human right that they are called to protect in application of inter-American case law on the matter, whose observance is obligatory for the signatory states of the Pact of San José, Costa Rica.

 

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