An Ecuadoran law prohibiting the media from reporting on elections went into effect Saturday, Feb. 4, reported the news agency Agencia de Noticias del Ecuador y Sudamérica.
Introduced by President Rafael Correa, the law has been heavily criticized for proposing that media should abstain from promoting, directly or indirectly, positive and negative messages about candidates or political topics.
President Correa has defended the law, saying that it will "keep the media from becoming political actors," something he argues is already the case in Ecuador, reported BBC Mundo.
Journalist unions and human rights organizations claim that the law is "permanent official harassment to control freedom of expression," according to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.
Already, journalistic associations in Ecuador have taken the law to the Constitutional Court, alleging that the reforms to the electoral law violate the Andean country's Magna Carta, reported the Spanish newspaper España ABC.
According to the Mexican magazine Etcétera, one of the plaintiffs in the case, president of the National Union of Journalists of Ecuador, Vicente Odróñes, said that the law "affects journalists' right to report and citizens' right to be informed about their candidates."