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Reuters/Henry Romero

The U-turn:

Recommendations

The Committee to Protect Journalists offers the following recommendations:

To Ecuadoran authorities:

  1. The office of the president and the National Assembly should work together to pass comprehensive reforms to the Communications Law before the end of the year, incorporating input from press freedom organizations, journalists and civil society. In the longer term, all sides should work to repeal the law, which is inconsistent with international press freedom standards, via constitutional amendment or referendum.
  2. Ecuadoran officials should ensure journalists have access to government information, and should make officials available for interviews without imposing conditions or restrictions.
  3. The Ecuadoran government should fully cooperate with the special monitoring team created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to conduct a credible and transparent investigation of the kidnapping and murder of the El Comercio reporting team and make the results public.
  4. Public officials at all levels of Ecuador’s government should encourage journalists to report on issues of public interest and should refrain from filing criminal defamation charges against reporters.
  5. Ultimately, and in order to be in compliance with international standards, Ecuador should repeal all of the country’s criminal defamation laws.

To Twitter:

  1. Provide greater clarity on policy enforcement actions and establish effective remedy mechanisms for journalists and press freedom organizations facing suspension, including rapid response protocols for press freedom violations, and ensure press freedom groups and journalists are included in the Trust and Safety Council.
  2. Consider joining groups such as the Global Network Initiative that have developed principles and best practices for dealing with online surveillance and censorship.

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