REGIONS:

SUPERTEL dismisses charges against seven radio stations

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 6 October 2011, the Telecommunications Superintendence (SUPERTEL) dismissed the legal process it initiated a month earlier against seven radio stations that had linked together in order to broadcast a program in support of freedom of expression. The head of SUPERTEL, Fabián Jaramillo, stated that no arguments were found to proceed with the case, which could have resulted in sanctions against the Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca-based radio stations.

Jaramillo said in public statements that the case was dismissed after it was verified that the stations had committed no illegal actions.

On 6 September SUPERTEL informed the Quito, Centro, Genial Exa, Visión and Platinum radio stations, based in the city of Quito, as well as the Radio City radio station in Guayaquil and the Ondas Azuayas radio station in Cuenca, that they may have commited a Class II administrative infraction by failing to give prior notification about their plans to simultaneously broadcast a 10 August radio program celebrating Ecuador's "First Cry of Independence" (Primer Grito de Independencia). Renowned personalities from the journalism community took part in the program to discuss freedom of expression. The program was broadcast by the stations using Ecuadoradio's (Radio Quito and Platinum) main signal.

Fundamedios is satisfied with the authorities' decision and the fact that they recognized that no grounds existed for prosecuting the radio stations, just as Fundamedios had maintained ever since the administrative measure was announced. Had the prosecution proceeded it would have signified an illegitimate restriction on freedom of expression in the country.

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