Argentina acknowledges it violated the human rights of journalist Eduardo Kimel

By Maira Magro

In a public act of reparation this week, Argentina has recognized its responsibility for the wrongful prison sentence of journalist Eduardo Kimel, who died in February, reported Página 12.

Kimel was sentenced in 1999 to one year in prison (the sentence was suspended) and payment of $20,000 in damages for questioning a judge's role in a case investigating the killing of three priests and two seminarians during the military dictatorship (1976-1983). The judge sued the journalist over criticisms published in Kimel's 1989 book, "The Massacre of San Patricio."

In May of 2008, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States said the state violated the journalist's human rights when it sentenced him to prison. As a result, Argentina in September published a law decriminalizing the crimes of libel and slander.

In this public act of atonement, President Cristina Kirchner reiterated that the concentration of media compromised the exercise of freedom of expression, and she criticized the judiciary measures against the broadcast reform law, according to the newspapers Clarín and La Nación.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.