69th General Assembly

Denver, Colorado

October 18 – 22, 2013

WHEREAS on June 25 there entered into effect the Communication Organic Law, whose articles make gagging official with a new series of “press offenses” WHEREAS the “Gag Law” establishes government bodies that have the power to control ownership of the media, impose direct censorship and intervention in content, defines who may or may not be a journalist, and creates new press offenses that benefit the authorities and public officials over and above the people WHEREAS among other articles and norms the law stipulates the creation of the Council on Regulations and Development of Information and Communication and an Information Superintendence with powers of vigilance, auditing, intervention, control and imposition of fines; it creates the precept of “media of a national nature” and the offense of “media lynching”; it prohibits editors or owners of media from censoring content, but makes them responsible for what is published WHEREAS this law requires media to publish information of “public interest”; it stipulates that only journalistic professionals or those in allied careers may work full-time in the media; it requires each media outlet to create its own code of ethics, and it requires them to include 30 precepts established in the law in these, and warns media of fines that will be applied if they do not publish rectifications and public apologies requested by the Information Superintendence WHEREAS Ecuador is a signatory to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the OAS American Convention on Human Rights WHEREAS Thirty-five national and international organizations dedicated to freedom of the press, united in the IFEX Global Network, asked President Rafael Correa to request of the Inter-American Human Rights Court an Advisory Opinion on the compatibility of the Communication Law with the standards of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights WHEREAS a number of individuals have petitioned the Constitutional Court to declare the Communication Law unconstitutional THE IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES to urge the government of Ecuador to respect and guarantee freedom of expression, press freedom and the right of the people to be informed from various points of view as “the fundamental condition for societies to resolve their conflicts, promote their well-being and protect their freedom” in a democracy, as established in the preamble of the Declaration of Chapultepec to ask President Rafael Correa to respond to the request made by the IFEX Global Network and ask the Inter-American Human Rights Court for an Advisory Opinion on the Communication Law. to request that the Constitutional Court consider the petitions against the constitutionality of the Communication Law in light of international agreements on freedom of expression, such as the American Convention on Human Rights of the Organization of American States and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations