New Costa Rican law imposes jail time on journalists who reveal "political secrets"

Costa Rican journalists could go to prison for revealing "secret political information" according to a controversial new law, reported the newspaper La Nación de Costa Rica.

According to José Rodolfo Ibarra, president of the Costa Rican Journalists Union consulting internal emails from a government agency could be cause for jail time, reported Diario Extra. The Journalists Union has come out against the Information Crimes Law, characterized as an attempt to censor journalists.

The newspaper El País de Costa Rica also said the law is an attempt to censor the press, restrict journalistic investigations, and exempt public officials from being held accountable.

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla signed the law into effect on Tuesday, July 10, reported the newspaper Prensa.

However, the Costa Rican government said it would hold a meeting for the authors of the new law and representatives from news media in order to ensure freedom of expression is protected, reported the TV station TicoVisión.

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.