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TV station in Panama suffers prolonged cyber attack

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has expressed its repudiation of an attack on the website of Panama's TVN-2 television channel and urged the local authorities to conduct a prompt investigation and apply the full force of the law, so as to ensure press freedom during general elections on May 4.

Executives of the channel publicly reported that its website has been the object of prolonged and continuous cyber attacks since April 17, preventing users' access to the site, one of the country's most visited. According to experts hired by the television channel, the attacks have been identified as “aggressive and constant” and carried out by “very experienced” people. The channel did not identify the attackers.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, declared, “We trust that the channel will present the result of its investigations to the Attorney General's Office so that the authorities immediately carry out an official investigation and punish those responsible for this serious offence, which directly limits the public's right to information.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, said that the cyber attacks violate basic principles of freedom of the press and of expression as set out in the Declaration of Chapultepec and the OAS Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression.

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