Peruvian journalists condemn blogger’s defamation conviction

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  • November 1, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

A Peruvian court has sentenced journalist José Alejandro Godoy, the head of the blog Desde el Tercer Piso (From the Third Floor), to three years in prison, a fine of $107,000, and 120 days of social work for “aggravated defamation” against former minister and congressman Jorge Mufarech, El Comercio reports.

According to Perú 21, the journalist was convicted for an April post in which he linked to several media outlets that discussed criminal accusations against Mufarech. The sentence has generated political and media uproar in the country, DPA explains.

The Press and Society Institute (IPYS) called the ruling “unconstitutional and without precedent” and said that it had no legal merit. The National Press Association argues that the sentence affects the right to press freedom and “encourages impunity” for public figures who need to be held accountable. Similarly, Susana Villarán, the likely mayor-elect of Lima, called the conviction an attack on freedom of expression.

In an interview with La República (see the video below), Godoy warned that “anyone could be the victim of an indignation of this type” and announced that he would appeal.

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.