The National Association of Journalists (PNA) rejected the bill presented by the Peru Libre caucus to increase the number of fine and prison days issued for crimes of slander and defamation committed in the media, social networks and websites.
“This initiative is contrary to the international legal doctrine that points to the decriminalization of the so-called crimes against honor,” mentioned in a statement published on social networks.
On August 19, Segundo Montalvo and other congressmen from Peru Libre presented a bill to sanction the “improper use of the media, social networks, or collective disclosure websites.”
In article 131, on the crime of slander, it is proposed that the penalty for this crime be raised to 120 to 365 days fine and the payment of civil compensation in favor of the complainant. Article 132, on defamation, would go on to include that this would reach prison sentences of between 2 and 5 years, in addition to a 120 to 365 day fine and civil damages.
The ANP recalled that the criminal law should be the last resort because prison is a disproportionate response to protect the rights to honor and good reputation, especially in Peru where they consider that justice “until today does not achieve a correct weighting” between the right to honor and the right to information.
“An initiative of this nature, what it intends -even from its own formulation-, is to muzzle the journalistic complaint under the possibility of prison sentence”they evaluated.
The Free Peru bill is authored by Segundo Montalvo and is supported by Waldemar Cerrón, Jaime Quito, Kelly Portalatino, Flavio Cruz, Américo Gonza, Álex Flores and Alfredo Pariona.