Resolution of the Midyear Meeting Quito, Ecuador WHEREAS the IAPA held a conference and workshop in Panama City on February 13 and 14, 2006 on press freedom in Panama, and this event was very well attended by current and former Panamanian Supreme Court justices, members of the National Assembly, the public prosecutor’s office, journalists’ associations, attorneys, collaborators, and official advisers on press legislation WHEREAS this gathering addressed such topics as the decriminalization of libel, developments in Panama’s Transparency Act, and the legal implications of the recently passed Law 22 of 2005 on the right of reply WHEREAS specific points of agreement were reached, such as recommending that Panama’s National Assembly clarify Law 22 of 2005, decriminalize libel, and strengthen Article 6 of the Transparency Act, all in the interest of furthering press freedom in Panama WHEREAS it was announced at this gathering that criminal legislation is being drafted that includes the offense of libel WHEREAS Principle 4 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 MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to urge President Martín Torrijos and the National Assembly of Panama to consider the recommendations of the Legislative Conference on Press Freedom held in Panama on February 13 and 14, 2006 — as set forth in the statement issued by the IAPA on February 14, 2006 — as well as the recommendations of the inter-American human rights system, in addressing the offense of libel in the pending amendment of the criminal code; and, similarly, to urge them to address the need to clarify Law 22 of 2005 and strengthen the Transparency Act.