CPJ opposes new legislation

New York, September 17, 2002—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) sent a letter today to Juan Carlos Maqueda, provisional president of the Argentine Senate, expressing concern about legislation that the Senate is scheduled to debate tomorrow.

The bill proposes adding three articles to the Penal Code that would criminalize operating a radio station without a license, putting at risk the thousands of stations currently broadcasting without permission. Under the new legislation, many radio journalists could face up to a year in jail.

“We urge the senate not to pass this bill in its current form,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “Closing radio stations and jailing their journalists should not be a remedy for dealing with unauthorized broadcasters.”

This is the second time that the bill will be presented to the Senate. The measure was discussed in the full Senate earlier this month but was sent back to the Senate’s Penal Affairs and Prison Regimes Committee and the Communications Committee for further review.

Click here to read the letter.