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IAPA calls attention to Correa's conflicting positions on press freedom

(IAPA/IFEX) - Miami, September 22, 2011 - The president of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), Gonzalo Marroquín, today stressed the importance of a speech to be given tomorrow by Ecuador's President Rafael Correa at Columbia University in New York, which "will serve to expose the inconsistent thinking of one who claims to support freedom of the press and of expression yet whose actions are totally opposed to such freedoms".

Correa, visiting New York for a United Nations symposium on global warming, was invited to speak at Columbia University's World Leaders Forum on "Vulnerable Societies: Media and Democracy in Latin America," scheduled for tomorrow (September 23).

In a letter to Columbia University's President Lee C. Bollinger and leading academics, Marroquín congratulated the university "for providing a space for the wide range of the world's currents of thought, among them that of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa".

He said that while the Columbia students and academics will have "a magnificent opportunity to hear President Correa and to generate a transparent, frank and enriching dialogue", an event with such characteristics "is not possible in Ecuador where independent journalists and news media are constantly subjected to reprisals for voicing criticism and opinions about government actions".

In his letter Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21, assailed the intolerance of Ecuador's government, which this week "was unmasked when a concocted court decision upheld a lower court ruling, thus sentencing three journalists from El Universo newspaper and a former columnist to three years in prison and payment of a $40 million indemnity.

He concluded his letter saying the IAPA trusted that the university's students and academics would witness the exposure of "the inconsistent thinking of one who claims to support freedom of the press and of expression yet whose actions are totally opposed to such freedoms".

Click here to read the full text of the letter
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