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May 5, 2011

El Salvador: Mining company urged to condemn death squad threats against journalists

Radio Victoria and the rural community that operates it, located in the northern Salvadorian department of Cabañas, have been the victim of threats and harassment for the past five years and it is time this stopped, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has said. A new wave of warnings and death threats were received by four of the community radio station’s journalists – Pablo Ayala , Oscar Beltrán , Manuel Navarrete and Marixela Ramos – in writing and by phone from... MORE
February 28, 2011

Spanish journalist arrested in Panama over mining protest

Spanish journalist Paco Gomez Nadal was arrested in Panama City in one of the protests staged around the country, mainly by Indian groups, against the reform of the mining law, the government said, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. “The National Police arrested foreigner Francisco Gomez Nadal at a time when he was instigating and organizing a group of citizens who were preparing to stage a protest” before the National Assembly building, the Communications Secretariat said. The... MORE
January 11, 2011

Panama: Retrograde move to make insulting president punishable by imprisonment

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has urged the National Assembly of Panama to reject a draft law under which anyone insulting the president or an elected official could be sentenced to between two and four years in prison, as it would represent major step backwards for freedom of expression in Panama. The National Assembly is due to resume examining it Tuesday. Called Draft Law 105 and submitted on January 5 by National Assembly president José Muñoz and... MORE
November 22, 2010

Panamanian asylum for former intelligence chief an “insult to DASgate victims”

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed outrage at Panama's decision to offer political asylum to María del Pilar Hurtado, a former head of Colombia’s leading intelligence agency, the Administrative Department of Security (DAS). Hurtado is due to go to the Panamanian consulate in Bogotá today to receive documents allowing her to travel to Panama. Panama’s decision is an insult to all the victims of the DAS dirty tricks – illegal phone tapping, smear... MORE
October 8, 2010

In Panama, defamation conviction draws outcry

A Panamanian court of appeals has convicted two TV journalists of criminal defamation and banned them from professional work for one year, news reports said. While President Ricardo Martinelli said he would pardon the journalists, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that lawmakers should repeal all criminal penalties for defamation. The case stems from a 2005 story, aired by the national broadcaster TVN Canal 2, alleging that Panamanian immigration officials were... MORE
October 7, 2010

Panama: “Absurd and dangerous” ruling bans two journalists from working for 12 months

A Panama City court has banned TVN Canal 2 news editor Sabrina Bacal and Justino González, a former TVN Canal 2 reporter who is now a KW Continente commentator, from working as journalists for one year as well as fining them $6,000, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). Issued on appeal on September 27 and announced on October 4, the sentences replaced the two-year jail sentences that the court had initially envisaged imposing under the criminal code’s... MORE
July 20, 2010

Panama: Retired journalist freed after being held for 19 days

Retired Panama journalist Carlos Núñez was released on July 14 after 19 days in detention, according to delayed reports received by Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). Núñez was arrested on June 26 after being convicted in absentia as a result of a libel suit brought against him 10 years ago. At the time of his arrest, he was completely unaware he had been convicted over an article he wrote 12 years go for the now defunct pro-communist newspaper Crítica about environmental problems in... MORE
July 1, 2010

Veteran Panamanian journalist jailed on defamation charges

A 70-year-old Panamanian journalist was arrested and jailed Saturday on a 2008 defamation conviction, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said. The charges against Carlos Núñez López, stemmed from a 2005 story in the now-defunct weekly newspaper La Crónica about environmental damage in the province of Bocas del Toro, his lawyer, Luis Ferreyra, told CPJ. A landowner alleged his reputation had been damaged by the article, the local press said. Núñez was first sentenced to one year in... MORE
May 10, 2010

Panama: La Prensa convicted of libel, ordered to pay US$300,000 in damages

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has criticised a "highly surprising" court decision against Panamanian newspaper La Prensa that ordered payment of US$300,000 in damages to a former public prosecutor for libel after the newspaper published official reports on irregularities that took place under her watch. On April 30, Second Civil Circuit Court Judge Miriam Cheng de Aguilar ordered La Prensa's publishing company to pay public prosecutor Argentina Barrera for "moral damages" arising... MORE
May 1, 2009

Panamanian journalist sentenced to two years in prison

A Panama City court has sentenced leading Panamanian journalist Jean Marcel Chéry to two years in prison on trespassing charges stemming from a years-long series of complaints filed by a Supreme Court justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. It has called on Justice Winston Spadafora to end his politically motivated harassment. Judge Ricardo Mazza Moreno of the Second Criminal Circuit of the Third Judicial Circuit in Panama City also fined Chéry, director of the Panama... MORE