Human Rights Foundation asks Ecuadorian court to suspend sentence against newspaper owners

The Human Rights Foundation sent a letter to the judges of the Second Criminal Chamber of Ecuador’s National Court of Justice asking them to accept an appeal of the libel sentence against journalist Emilio Palacio and the owners of the El Universo newspaper, reported the same organization. The accused face three years in prison and $40 million in damages.

The New York-based human rights organization published a legal report on Oct. 31 on the case of ex-columnist Emilio Palacio, who fled to Miami in August. Recently, his sentence was suspended but the one against the paper's directors still stands.

The report concluded that the Ecuadorian state violated Palacio's freedom of expression to freely express his ideas and opinions, even if those opinions offended or bothered others.