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Draft bill for the protection of journalists introduced in Paraguay

This statement was originally published on sindicatodeperiodistas.org.

Deputy Olga Ferreira introduced a draft bill before the media today, which seeks to create a mechanism for protecting journalists and media workers. As the legislator pointed out, the bill will be analysed by different sectors before being discussed in a plenary session at the Lower House.

According to Ferreira, the bill considers the experiences of countries such as Mexico and Colombia, where there are mechanisms for protecting journalists due to the high levels of violence against this sector, violence that is linked to organised crime.

In Paraguay, 17 members of the media have been murdered from 1991 to date, and many of these cases are connected to journalists' reports against organised crime groups. Another common element is that, crimes against journalists have not been properly investigated or addressed by the Paraguayan justice system, and so the majority of these cases remain in total impunity.

The Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay will analyse the bill introduced yesterday, and will actively participate in the debate on the importance of having a Mechanism for protecting journalists and media workers.

It is worth noting that in January of this year, following a powerful international campaign carried out by the SPP with the support of the IFEX Network, the Paraguayan State made a commitment before member states of the United Nations to take steps towards improving safety for journalists, and guaranteeing the protection of freedom of expression.

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