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Ecuador's President accuses Twitter user of inciting crime

On 28 May 2013, Twitter user Danny Ayala, who uses the handle @DayalaEc on the social network, was notified of an urgent action against him requested by President Rafael Correa from the Prosecutor's Office, because Ayala had allegedly "incited an attack against his life”. This was prompted by a tweet posted by Ayala on 5 March which said: "RT if you now want Correa to die".

The document sent by the president, in which he calls for an expert opinion, also says that "the message could well be considered by some users of this social network as a call to make an attempt on my life, a fact that in view of my current position would obviously be an assassination”.

The document also states that the Ayala's behavior is consistent with criminal conduct categorized by Article 386 of the Ecuadorian Criminal Code, which states: "Whoever publicly incites people to commit a specific crime against a person or institution, when the instigator cannot be considered legally as a messenger, shall be held, for the call to commit the crime, even if the offense was not committed, in prison for 15 days to two years depending on the severity of the crime incited".

Ayala, an Ecuadorian citizen who works in technology and has 934 followers on Twitter, told Fundamedios that the published message in no way intended or wanted to incite anyone to commit a crime and said that the Head of State should not have felt that the tweet alluded to him, as he had not even been directly mentioned.

Ayala also rejected the way in which he was notified of the president's actions. He stated that 10 people arrived at his home, four members of the judicial police and six from the prosecutor's office, to notify him of the urgent action; a number of officials he believes was unnecessary to relay the message.

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