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.
"This demonstrates that you can prosecute not only the clowns, but also the owner of the circus," said Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa as he celebrated the high court's ruling upholding the defamation sentence against the owners of the newspaper El Universo, the same newspaper reported Thursday, Feb. 16.
Because of the recent attacks on press freedom and freedom of expression in Ecuador, the country's president, Rafael Correa, has been criticized in recent days by various journalistic organizations, according to the newspaper La Hora.
Two Ecuadoran journalists have been ordered to pay President Rafael Correa $2 million in moral damages for writing the book "El Gran Hermano" (Big Brother), according to the Associated Press. Juan Carlos Calderón and Christian Zurita wrote the book about the supposed contracts that Fabricio Correa, brother to the president, has with the state.
A former Ecuadorean journalist facing prison and millions of dollars in fines is seeking asylum in the United States, reported the Associated Press on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
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.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has released a report criticizing pending Ecuadorian electoral reforms that will prohibit the press from covering political campaigns and elections. According to CPJ, the electoral reform will go into effect Saturday, Feb. 4.
The series of recommendations to change the inter-American system of human rights, presented by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States on Jan. 25, would limit the authority of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), especially the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression.
The outcome of Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa's lawsuit against the newspaper El Universo remains unsettled after a scheduled hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 24, was suspended when one of the trial's three judges got sick, according to the news agency EFE.
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) published a report criticizing the Ecuadoran government for measures taken against freedom of the press and expression.