Chilean bill could use media coverage to charge protestors with crimes

On Oct. 6, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) asked the Chilean Congress to reject the government's proposed penal code reform on the grounds that it violates fundamental freedoms of expression.

The bill would toughen penalties against public protests in the South American country and also contains "disastrous provisions for journalists covering protests," RSF wrote in a statement.

The bill would also permit police to request media companies volunteer images, voices or sounds that could be used to charge someone with a crime without a warrant, reported the website Clases de Periodismo. RSF asserted that the bill disregards protection of journalistic information and turns journalists into police informants.

The proposal comes as violence against journalists has mounted because of the ongoing student protests.