Miami (July 4, 2020) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed its deep concern at the harassment and stigmatization against Argentine journalists by officials of Alberto Fernández's government and asked the president "not to go back in time".
The IAPA's public request to President Fernández is due to threats from legal proceedings and discredit campaigns against prestigious Argentine journalists, including Luis Majul, Jorge Lanata and Daniel Santoro. The statement "not to go back in time" is in reference to the repeated times that IAPA had to recriminate government instigation against media and journalists during the presidency of Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015), currently vice president of the country.
IAPA President Christopher Barnes expressed his concern, saying that "we regret that we again have to pay attention to Argentina, because we thought that persecution, harassment and government stigmatization against the media and journalists were a thing of the past." Barnes, director of the Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner, added that "we hope that President Fernández, who respects constitutional guarantees, will encourage restraint of his officials and will not allow the country to go back in time regarding freedom of the press and expression."
Roberto Rock, president of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, director of the Mexican portal La Silla Rota, expressed that "our concern is because experience has taught us that verbal or virtual harassment and stigmatization, beyond the intention of seeking to undermine the credibility of journalists, are inevitably the preamble to violence. "
The IAPA authorities said that the hate speech, which has currently generated a transcendent debate worldwide, in addition to encouraging violence, weakens press freedom and democracy.
The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami