Carta a medios de comunicación sobre petición de asilo de Edward Snowden
24 de Junio de 2013 - 08h28
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The Embassy of Ecuador presents its compliments to the Media and Communication Organizations and has the honor to recall that for the Government of the Citizen Revolution respect and defence of human rights is a matter of principles and therefore the Embassy also recalls that the promotion and effective application of those rights have been instated as a strategic goal in the “National Plan for Good Living”.
For the benefit of the Ecuadorian people this task has been successfully fulfilled showing that it has been right to transform the old development model by amending the mistake of giving priority to the capital and markets in detriment of human beings. In fact, doing so, Ecuador accounts, among others, a remarkable decrease of national poverty (12 points in 2012); a significant reduction of unemployment; substantial decline of illiteracy, particularly at the country side; and a substantial increase of family’s purchasing power in relation with the value of the basic market basket (93% in 2012). All this within the framework of a solid political stability and the successful management of a government entitled by the robust representativeness of having obtained, last February, 56,7% of the votes at an election in which participated 58,5% of the people registered in the electoral roll.
With this vision in mind, the Embassy of Ecuador makes reference to the recent expedition of the new “Communication’s Act” by the National Assembly, law that replaces the one that was adopted during the military dictatorship at the beginning of the 70s. The new Communication’s Act does not restrict freedom of expression; on the contrary, from now on, in Ecuador is efficiently warranted the basic human right of citizens to freely express themselves and to receive accurate and opportune information from the media, thanks to the fact that information is no longer conceived as a commodity but a vital public service according with the new Act.
In addition, the new Communications Law defends journalists’ labour rights and on the other hand, it ensures a historic redistribution of frequencies amongst State, private media and civil society organizations, in order to prevent media concentration in few hands, and thereby to ensure diversification and pluralism of criteria and “voices”. Accordingly, the new Law promotes domestic production in the perspective of propelling the creation of audio-visual contents that reflect the reality, culture and national idiosyncrasy. Thus, the Ecuadorian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility has described this law as a contribution to democracy, to strengthen the access to reliable and opportune information, as it is easy to verify by studying the text of this Law.
Furthermore, it is necessary to record that specialized organizations as “Reporters Without Borders” also have made very positive statements. In fact, Jonathan Lundqvist, Chairman of the Swedish Chapter, has recently declared “…press freedom in Ecuador seems to be evolving towards more bright days. A new press law will very soon enter into force in Ecuador. This has been criticized by national journalists, but in truth the new law is certainly a step ahead” (see Aftonbladet, 25.06.13, page 19).
Indeed thanks to the new Communications Law is inadmissible now to make unsubstantiated claims through the media, and in this context, the Embassy of Ecuador wishes to refer to the “Annual Report of the IACHR Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression” for the year 2012, and regarding this report would like to state that it has been accurately challenged by the National Government due to: a) Lack of rigor and methodological flaws b) Discretionality in the use of the methodology, c) Discretionality in the presentation of results, and d) Lack of transparency and absolute discretionality in the use of sources and references.
In addition, the Annual Report contains serious omissions when referring problems affecting social communication sector in Ecuador, problems that have been highlighted and acknowledged as real, amongst others, by the “Dagens Nyheter” journalist, Mr. Erik de la Reguera (see article of the DN Asylär inte ett uttryck för sympati: “…Ecuadors privata medier, vilka förvisso inte alltid har kännetecknats av journalistik kvalitet och sanningspatos…”, page 24, edition of 24 of June 2013). The Annual Report also omits to mention the efforts displayed by the Ecuadorian Government to tackle those problems by establishing a new policy framework for the exercise of the right of communication, precisely trough the new Communications law. When addressing alleged cases of abuse against journalists and private media, the report shows weak arguments that reflect rather a political view than a solid legal and factual foundation
In short words the above mentioned report does not constitute a document of sufficient quality according to international standards set in multiple international agreements, both within the Inter-American Human Rights System of the Organization of American States and in the United Nations system, particularly in the field of Human Rights Commission. Further information on the Ecuadorian response to the “Annual Report of the IACHR Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression”, for the year 2012, can be accessed in the following link: http://issuu.com/elciudadano_ec/docs/informe_final
Finally, restating that the expedition of the new Communication Law is a matter of principles and duly safeguarding of the basic human right to be truthfully informed, the Embassy: a) recalls that protection that the country is giving to Mr. Julian Assange is firmly anchored to this conceptual vision and praxis, that will not bow to pressures and by no means to subjective judgments of speculative character emitted in certain journalistic chronicles; and, b) According with the statement made this morning by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, H.E. Ricardo Patiño, the Embassy conveys that the Government of Ecuador is accurately dealing with the issue, through a specialized and comprehensive analysis of the request of Mr. Edward Snowden, making clear that any decision on it will take into account full respect for the rules and principles of the International Law and the traditional policy of Ecuador to preserve human rights.
The Embassy of Ecuador avails itself of this opportunity to renew to all Media and Communication Organizations the assurances of its highest and most distinguished consideration.
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