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IFEX gravely concerned for safety of Fundamedios and others who attended IACHR hearing

(IFEX) - 23 November 2011 - The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) is gravely concerned by the recent threats against IFEX member Fundamedios and its director, César Ricaurte, and the attempts by government supporters and state officials to discredit the organisation. These allegations have been aired in national radio and television broadcasts and published in government communications, which have then been picked up by the private media on orders of the Presidency of the Republic. The threats began after Ricaurte and eight other journalists and human rights defenders participated in the 25 October 2011 hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the "Situation of the Right to Freedom of Expression in Ecuador."

IFEX stands behind its member's participation at the hearing and calls on the government of Ecuador to cease all threats and other actions and reprisals aimed at intimidating and discrediting the organisation and its director and to ensure the security of all those who took part in the hearing.

It is important that the government of Ecuador acknowledge the important role that NGOs play in a democratic society and ensure they can operate with freedom and in safety.

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