Argentina II

WHEREAS The Justice system of Argentina is analyzing the constitutionality of the media law in view of the accusation that some of its articles violate constitutional rights, among them the freedom of expression, equality before the law, the right to property, and the ex-post-facto principle, among other fundamental guarantees. WHEREAS The Argentine government has been carrying out a strong campaign of pressures and delegitimizing against all judicial levels that intervene in that case, for the purpose of affecting their independence and obtaining a decision favorable to its interests WHEREAS The Argentine government exhibits different standards in enforcement the media law, leading to the firm suspicion that both the letter of the law, as well as its enforcement, are intended to advance only against the independent media, maintaining a lax and permissive attitude toward media that tow the official line. WHEREAS This selective enforcement is part of a systematic process of indirect censorship carried on by the Argentine government, and which includes arbitrary distribution of official advertising, the use of state offices as tools of persecution or intimidation, the selective management of public information, and the propagandistic use of public media. WHEREAS These attitudes violate article 13 of the Pact of San José de Costa Rica and the principles of the Declaration of Chapultepec; 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 MID-YEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES To urge workers in the Argentine government to respect, in their actions and public statements, the decisions of the Justice system that maintain articles of the media law suspended while the constitutionality of the rules is being analyzed. To exhort the Argentine government to avoid interpretation and selective enforcement of this and other legal norms, utilized as a system of awards and punishments, for the purpose of silencing voices and consolidating more and more the great machine of public communication; To solicit the Executive of Argentina to cease direct pressure on the Justice system in matters tied to the activities of the communications media, which would be counter to the division of powers and put at risk the role of the Judiciary as a guarantor of constitutional rights.