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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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June 23, 2013 - 11:17 am

Ecuador’s consideration of asylum for NSA leaker Edward Snowden comes days after the State Department angered socialist President Rafael Correa by criticizing his new law that stomps on press freedom.

“The United States is concerned by the Ecuadorian National Assembly’s passage last Friday of a Communications Law that could restrict freedom of the press and limit the ability of independent media to carry out its functions as a critical part of Ecuador’s democracy,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Tuesday.

“As recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The Inter-American Democratic Charter, signed by the United States, Ecuador, and 32 other countries in the hemisphere, establishes freedom of expression as an essential component of representative democracy. Active, independent, and responsible media is critical for informing the public,” she continued.

“While it remains to be seen how the new Communications Law will be applied in practice, it is important in a democracy that laws not have a suppressive effect on free speech, narrow the space for fair and unbiased reporting, or lead to self-censorship by the independent media. In solidarity with the Ecuadorian people and government, as well as with other governments and stakeholders in the region committed to freedom of expression, we underline the importance of ensuring that the independent media is able to do its work without fear of reprisal or sanction. Respect for the fundamental freedoms of citizens – including freedom of expression and of the press – is critical in guaranteeing the vitality of this essential component of representative democracy.”

Correa said in response to U.S. criticism of the law last month that he was drafting a letter to Washington “telling the White House that we also ask that you protect the life of the soldier Bradley Manning and the Guantanamo prisoners.”

“My country is sovereign, we are not a colony of anyone,” Correa continued. “We will respond with dignity to such insolence.”

A summary of the new law, which aims to turn reporters into state propaganda-peddlers, from the Committee to Protect Journalists:

After inspecting a hydroelectric project in northern Ecuador last year, President Rafael Correa complained about the scant press coverage of his visit and suggested it was part of a media blackout. ‘Did the Ecuadoran media conspire to ignore this important event? It seems like that is the case,’ Correa told the crowd at a town hall meeting. ‘In this country, good news is not news.’

Under Ecuador’s new Communications Law, however, journalists may have to pay far more attention to ribbon-cutting ceremonies and other government PR events. Article 18 of the law forbids the ‘deliberate omission of … topics of public interest.’ But this wording is so vague that nearly any action by local, state, or national government official could be considered of public interest.

…In addition, the government agency that will enforce the new law and impose sanctions will be headed by one of three candidates recommended by Correa, whose government has engaged in widespread repression of the media, including pre-empting private news broadcasts, enacting restrictive legal measures, smearing critics, and filing debilitating defamation lawsuits, CPJ research shows.

Ecuadoran foreign minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca confirmed in Spanish and English on his Twitter feed today that the country is considering giving haven to Snowden, who flew from Hong Kong to Russia.

PJM Flashback: 

Why Ecuador Is Sheltering Julian Assange

 

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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"“The United States is concerned by the Ecuadorian National Assembly’s passage last Friday of a Communications Law that could restrict freedom of the press and limit the ability of independent media to carry out its functions as a critical part of Ecuador’s democracy,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Tuesday."

From an administration that charges journalists as spies and has used the espionage act more than twice as many times as all previous administration combined?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (12)
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This is just too rich...our Dear Leader is charging Correa with wanting to control their media's message and reporting. Really? You cannot make this stuff up...no chance in a million. God, how humiliating...Ecuador can tell US to kiss their collective commie-lite a$$e$ and we are too pusillanimous to do anything about it. How pathetic...hope they don't attack our embassy down there...

Remember BENGHAZI!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
my co-worker's sister makes $65/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her payment was $15318 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site======WEP6.COM======
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Looking at the incompetent and laughably inept way the USA has acted so far regarding Snowden i.e. the 'incomplete' extradition request the belated cancelling of his Passport the day after he had already left Hong Kong , it is no great leap of imagination and entirely credible that Snowden is no foe of Big Brother Obambi but merely a willing dupe of the REGIME drawing attention away from all the Lying Unqualified USURPERS real problems in Benghazi the IRS and the illegal reporters investigations.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
See America this is what happens when you put a Wimp in the White House. The world laughs at you especially when you do a spectacularly inept stable door closing by revoking his passport the day AFTER the horse bolts. Russia, China, Cuba and Ecuador meanwhile are just treating the USA with contempt.

By the way after YEARS of refusing to admit there even was a 'War on Terror' or that Muslims could possibly be perpetrating it what possible justfication does the Unqualified Serial Lying USURPER and his evil, corrupt, lying, Racist REGIME have for spying on ALL Americans.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like Ecuador, it is one of my favorite places, and I have valued friends there. And I appreciate the fact that Snowden, the little traitor, confirmed what so many of us already suspected - that the government spies on us. That said, it is also true that the little traitor absconded with multiple laptops chock full of top secret material - not to a US congressman, but to the Peoples Republic of China. Now the government of Ecuador, under Rafael Correa, has chosen to play a dangerous role in international politics: that of harboring enemies of what is still the most powerful nation on earth. If our government has any cohones they will make it clear to Senor Correa that his policy comes with a very high price, and if he does not hand over the goods he will begin to pay it. There must be a dozen ways in which "payment" can be extracted.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
You jest. Wet work and drone strikes are only viable in countries with no powerful protectors...as Ecuador has in China.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cojones ...
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever Snowden does (except turn himself in to the U.S.) he is now a dead man. His spymasters obviously don't want to be associated with him, so they sent him out of Hong Kong on this death march ... Who will take him in? Ecuador, si ... Just like Mexico took in Trotsky ... A year from now he'll be dead: "oh, señor, it was most tragic. Poor Señor Snowden, he picked a fight with two muchachos in a bar. They killed and ran away ... The police, they are looking for these jovenes ... Poor Señor Snowden ..."
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
In one of Robert Conquest's books, he describes Trotsky's death - in a tongue-in-cheek way - as a mountaineering accident. This is a reference to the fact that Trotsky's assassin bludgeoned him with a mountain climber's ice axe.

I wonder if Snowden will have the next mountain-climbing accident?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is one of those "Do as we say and not what we do" situations. Ecuador must notr have a Fox News outlet. If the government cracked down on them there would be a deafening silence from the administration.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“The United States is concerned by the Ecuadorian National Assembly’s passage last Friday of a Communications Law that could restrict freedom of the press and limit the ability of independent media to carry out its functions as a critical part of Ecuador’s democracy,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Tuesday."

From an administration that charges journalists as spies and has used the espionage act more than twice as many times as all previous administration combined?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
In all the 200+ years that America has existed there have only been nine times when someone was charged with Treason. The Serial Lying, Unqualified USURPER and his corrupt racist REGIME have been responsible for 7 (SEVEN) of those charges.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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