The recent sentencing of an Ecuadorian National Assembly member and two prominent political activists for allegedly slandering President Rafael Correa constitutes a grave violation of free speech rights. Freedom House calls on the Ecuadorian government to cease its lawsuits against public figures and government critics.
Press freedom has experienced a disturbing decline in several Latin American countries in the past decade, said Karin Karlekar, project director of the Freedom of the Press survey, at a July 9 event hosted by Freedom House and the American Task Force Argentina.
The closure of another independent media outlet and numerous public comments made by President Rafael Correa attacking private media are an alarming illustration of Correa’s growing attempts to silence critical media. Freedom House calls on President Correa to retract his order preventing government officials from speaking to private media and to allow all journalists and media organizations to operate without interference.
In less than five years since taking office, President Rafael Correa has turned Ecuador into one of the more restrictive countries for freedom of expression in Latin America and taken steps to assault freedom of association.