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Deterioration of press freedom in Ecuador causes international concern

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - Restrictive legal measures that limit freedom of expression; the stigmatizing and intimidating discourse against media outlets and journalists from the highest levels of power and a growing climate of polarization and hostility between media professionals and the government, are the issues that cause most concern to international organizations that defend freedom of expression in the world.

This has been expressed by organizations such as the International Press Institute (IPI) in its final report about Ecuador published this week, and similar organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Amnesty International, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), among others.

IPI published its report on the basis of information gathered from 7 to 11 May this year, when it undertook a press freedom mission in Ecuador. It concluded that the private media in the nation are being "targeted "by the government of President Rafael Correa.

Before going into details about this report, it is worth recalling what other organizations have reported about the situation of freedom of expression in the country.

CPJ, in its report “Ecuador under Correa: confrontation and repression", published in September 2011, affirms that Rafael Correa's administration has led Ecuador to a stage where the repression of freedom of expression has become widespread "by interrupting news programs broadcasted by private media to impose the official viewpoint, promoting restrictive legal measures, launching smear campaigns against critics and prosecuting journalists for defamation”.

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