An open letter defending IFEX member Fundamedios' right to monitor, document, report and comment on freedom of expression issues in Ecuador.
Secretaría Nacional de Comunicacíon
San Salvador E6-49 y Eloy Alfaro
Código Postal: 170516 / Quito - Ecuador
11 September 2015
Dear Mr. Alvarado,
IFEX, the global network of 95 organisations dedicated to promoting and defending freedom of expression, is writing to you to request the immediate retraction of resolution No. 2015 – SECOM – 007 on the dissolution of the Andean Foundation for Media Observation and Study (Fundamedios). We also request your personal guarantee that the Fundamedios office will be permitted to remain open and that their staff will be allowed to continue their legitimate work without interference.
Fundamedios is a non-partisan organisation whose work benefits all Ecuadorians by protecting their access to information and right to speak freely about issues of concern to Ecuadorian society. Sharing relevant analysis of social and political issues from veteran media figures contributes to, rather than compromises, that role. No part of this activity can reasonably be described as “dedicating itself” to partisan political activity, as described by Article 26 of Ecuador's Executive Decree no. 16.
The work of Fundamedios contributes to a healthy political environment in which all Ecuadorian citizens may be heard. As it is SECOM's mandate to increase citizen participation in Ecuadorian governance, we believe it is natural for you to support Fundamedios' work in protecting free expression as an essential element of that participation. We therefore call on you to:
- Annul the SECOM resolution of 7 September 2015 on the dissolution of Fundamedios;
- Recognise Fundamedios’ lawful right to monitor, document, report and comment on freedom of expression and related issues of public interest in Ecuador;
- Guarantee that Fundamedios’ offices will remain open and that SECOM will not seek to prevent its legitimate functioning, or issue instructions to other agencies of government to do so;
- Review and clarify SECOM’s application of Executive Decree No. 16, ensuring it is in keeping with the intent of the decree, the provisions of Ecuador’s constitution and international standards for freedom of expression.