Costa Rican congress tables freedom of expression bill

Costa Rica's Congress voted to table a proposed freedom of expression and the press law that would have updated the 1902 press law, and whose approval had been pending for several years, reported the radio station Monumental.

Journalists and freedom of expression organizations criticized the legislature's decision, demanding lawmakers explain why they did not approve the bill, according to the newspaper El País.

The bill would have amended articles of the Penal Code related to libel, defamation and slander.

The Press and Freedom of Expression Institute (IPLEX in Spanish) condemned the attitude of the Costa Rican parliament, denying that the bill would have created special benefits for the largest media outlets, as many believed. Instead, what the bill would have done, IPLEX said, is assured that "no citizen be afraid to express themselves."

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.