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Supreme Court strikes down amendments to Radio and Television Law

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) -The following is a 7 June 2007 ARTICLE 19 press release:

ARTICLE 19 welcomes the Mexican Supreme Court's decision striking down amendments to the Law of Radio and Television

The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice clearly ruled that amendments to the Law of Radio and Television, which had been enacted by the parliament violated the constitution and international human rights standards. This paves the way for the Federal Congress to reopen the public debate on the topic of media diversity.

In a surprisingly transparent deliberative process and following national and international criticism of the amendments, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice declared as unconstitutional - and therefore invalidated - the Decree that reforms, adds and derogates several dispositions of the Federal Law of Telecommunications and the Federal Law of Radio and Television.

This landmark decision constitutes a victory for the Mexican people and a major boost for the human rights movements in the country as well as for media diversity.

ARTICLE 19 welcomes both the decision of the Supreme Court and the transparent process it followed when it agreed to broadcast its deliberations on the Congress Channel. ARTICLE 19 calls for such a good practice to be followed in all cases of public interest.

Throughout the deliberations and discussions, various parties highlighted the need to reopen the debate with a view to legislating again on the subject. ARTICLE 19 therefore calls on Mexican legislators to consult experts and civil society organisations as part of the new legislative process and to ensure Mexico meets international standards and fulfils its international obligations on freedom of expression.

ARTICLE 19 particularly calls for any new legislation to guarantee pluralism of opinions and information, protect public and community media, prevent concentration of ownership and ensure and encourage indigenous communities' access to and participation in the mass media.

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