Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

WHEREAS freedom of the press and expression are fundamental rights as recognized by the Declaration of Chapultepec and multiple other declarations, including the Principles of Freedom of Expression adopted by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights; WHEREAS in our cause to defend freedom of expression, we have a great ally in the Americas in the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, before which we have presented a number of complaints and investigations, amicus, and friendly solutions with governments with which we have also carried out joint academic events; WHEREAS attacks of all sorts fall upon those who defend democracy and come from those who would replace the rule of law with their own laws; WHEREAS as a result of the request presented by the government of Ecuador, the Permanent Council of the OAS agreed to review the powers and attributions of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, to, among other things, make three recommendations: that the leaders cannot seek funding outside of the OAS and share their budget with other groups; that the leaders cannot make their annual report on a country-by-country basis; and the leaders have a code of conduct, which in practice attempts to restrict the workings of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression; WHEREAS any limitation imposed on the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression implies a limitation on what it can do to continue monitoring possible violations of freedom of the press and expression, especially to denounce the abuses of certain governments. 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 MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to solicit the Inter American Commission on Human Rights not to accede to the request submitted, and, as a result, maintain the powers and attributes that the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression has, thus guaranteeing the permanence of one of the most important organizations in the struggle against the attacks on the Fundamental Right to Information; to exhort governments not to support the above-mentioned initiative, nor any other that would violate or restrict the fundamental principles of freedom of expression and of the press consecrated in the Inter American Charter on Human Rights.