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CONGRESSIONAL REFORMS PROTECT CONFIDENTIALITY OF JOURNALISTS' SOURCES

The right of journalists to protect their sources in El Salvador may soon become a reality following a decision by Congress to approve reforms to the country's criminal code, reports the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).

Congress members have passed measures to reform the Code of Criminal Procedure which protect journalists from having to reveal their sources in court. The reforms need the approval of the president before they can become law.

In the past few months, 10 journalists have been subpoenaed by various courts to reveal their sources and testify as witnesses, even though none of them were eye witnesses to any crime, says IAPA.

The President of El Salvador, Antonio Elias Saca, has been sending encouraging signals to the country's journalism community on this issue. At IAPA's October conference in Guatemala, he stated that "the journalist?s right to protect his or her sources must be respected." Saca is a former radio station owner and past president of the International Association of Broadcasting.

Visit:

- IAPA: http://www.sipiapa.org/pulications/report_elsalvador2004o.cfm
- PROBIDAD: http://www.probidad-sv.org/index.php
- Congress Approves Reforms: http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/noticias/20041101/noticias1_20041101.asp
- Asociación de Periodistas de El Salvador: http://www.apes.org.sv

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