Argentina III

WHEREAS during the past six months there has been a worsening of aggression against newspapers and media editors on the part of public servants, sympathizers, and militants seeking political power; and WHEREAS such aggravations have been expressed in acts and demonstration of support for officialdom, in which anonymous posters have been displayed against professional journalists or attitudes of violence; and WHEREAS this combination of intolerance and persecution produced another chapter in a self-denominated “public trial” of journalists carried out in the Plaza de Mayo under the direction of organizations close to the government; and WHEREAS telephone taps, spying on electronic mail, and legal persecution continue to exist in Argentina, intended to disrupt or discourage journalistic work. WHEREAS the fourth principle of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly.” THE ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to call upon the Argentine government to work with the media so that public officials, employees, and sympathizers promote an attitude of tolerance for the work of journalists, thus avoiding aggression and stigmatizing, not only because such acts are incompatible with respect for free expression, but also due to the dangerous multiplier effect they may have in terms of verbal and physical violence; to urge authorities at different levels to promote a greater degree of access, breadth and equality of information, avoiding discrimination or reprisals based on the editorial line of the media or other considerations; to condemn and discourage any type of threat, verbal aggression, or physical violence against editors and reporters, favoring a climate in which they may express themselves without fear of intimidation, dissent, or criticism.