Human Rights Commission calls on Ecuadorian government to suspend sentence in El Universo libel case

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  • February 22, 2012

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has called on the Ecuadorian government to suspend the controversial defamation sentence against the newspaper El Universo, its owners, and the former opinion page editor Emilio Palacio, who are facing three years in prison and $40 million in fines, according to BBC Mundo.

The letter from the IACHR to the Ecuadorian government, published in El Universo, says that suspending the sentence against Palacio and the three brothers who own the newspaper, Carlos, Nicolás and César Perez, would guarantee the right to freedom of expression, reported El Universal.

The lawyer for Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said that the IACHR's request was an attempt to intimidate the judges and that it was “a full-fledged attack on democracy, on judicial independence and on domestic jurisdiction," according to the news agency EFE.

The Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration, Ricardo Patiño, said that the IACHR's request will be examined before any response is given, reported the Ministry's webpage.