Costa Rica

WHEREAS during the latter part of February and the first week of March, Gabriela Chaves Pérez, Marcos Leandro Camacho and José Luis Jiménez Robleto, all of them journalists at Diario Extra, were sentenced to prison terms of 10 days, 30 days and 50 days, respectively WHEREAS prison sentences, even when suspended or commuted to a fine, are not necessary to protect people’s reputations in a democratic society WHEREAS prison sentences are therefore inconsistent with the American Convention on Human Rights and have a chilling effect on freedom of expression that inevitably leads to self-censorship WHEREAS Article 2 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states, “Every person has the right to seek and receive information, express opinions and disseminate them freely. No one may restrict or deny these rights” THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to ask the Costa Rican judicial authorities to resolve cases involving freedom of expression by applying the case law and principles of the Inter-American Human Rights System to urge the Special Legislative Committee considering the necessary legal reforms to reach a decision that will eliminate the inconsistencies between Costa Rican law and the American Convention on Human Rights To ask the Costa Rican president to assist in promptly amending existing legislation, in order that full freedom of expression may prevail in Costa Rica.