Cainfo and the 69 cases of threats or restrictions on the freedom of expression of journalists in the country

Asked if the organization (Cainfo) was lying, Lacalle assured that “some, it may be.” “I would not call it a lie, we have a different opinion, but you have to try those things,” he said..

This Friday, in an article entitled “The lie and the president”, on its website Cainfo ruled on the sayings of Lacalle Pou and, among other considerations, he listed events that he understands to be happening in Uruguay: “Legal lawsuits against the media and journalists, stigmatizing speech by public authorities making use of their privileged forum, rejection of requests for access to public information making a restrictive interpretation of the law, approval of legal regulations contrary to international human rights standards, pressure from officials when the coverage causes them displeasure”.

“All these things have happened in the country in recent years, without the state authorities of the country having come out to condemn these practices”it is stated in that text.

In the same (see the complete work later), in addition, the methodology that gave rise to the report is detailedin which he realizes “69 cases of threats or restrictions on the freedom of expression of journalists in the country, although after its publication a new civil lawsuit for 451 thousand dollars by a former official of the current government against La Diaria became known. Each one of these cases is proven, as the president claims in the interview, and Cainfo makes itself available to the authorities to carry out a detailed check of each of the indicated episodes”.

Next, the Cainfo article after the expressions of Lacalle Pou in the interview on the BBC:

The lie and the president

This Friday the 27th, an interview conducted by journalist Stephen Sackur of the British network BBC with President Luis Lacalle Pou was revealed, in which the president assures that “it is not true” that there is a setback in the situation of freedom of expression of journalists. in the country, as reflected in the eighth report “Journalism and freedom of expression in Uruguay” published by Cainfo on April 29.

When the journalist insists on the reasons that Cainfo may have to maintain that, and if the organization is “lying” about it, Lacalle replies: “Some may be. I wouldn’t call it a lie, we have a different opinion, but you have to try those things.”

The annual report carried out by Cainfo applies a methodology agreed upon by 14 freedom of expression organizations in the region, gathered in the Red Voces del Sur. The explanation is included in the document, which can be freely consulted on the internet. It reflects the situation in the course of the year prior to May 3, based on 12 indicators established after a laborious process carried out in conjunction with UNESCO.

The aforementioned document reports 69 cases of threats or restrictions on the freedom of expression of journalists in the country, although after its publication a new civil lawsuit for 451 thousand dollars by a former official of the current government against La Diaria became known. . Each of these cases is proven, as the president claims in the interview, and Cainfo makes itself available to the authorities to carry out a detailed check of each of the episodes indicated.

The organization is also willing, as it has always done with the rest of the civil society organizations, to participate in a broad, transparent and democratic debate, to discuss the “different opinion” that each person has about the state of freedom of expression in the country, in order to reach a synthesis and overcome situations that have been worryingly reiterated in recent years (and that not only Cainfo denounces).

Lawsuits against the media and journalists, stigmatizing speech by public authorities making use of their privileged forum, rejection of requests for access to public information making a restrictive interpretation of the law, approval of legal regulations contrary to international human rights standards, pressure from officials when they dislike the coverage: all these things have happened in the country in recent years, without the country’s state authorities coming out to condemn such practices.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has said that “A dynamic, diverse and independent civil society, capable of functioning freely and equipped with knowledge and skills in relation to human rights, is a fundamental element to ensure for the sustainable protection of those rights in all regions of the world”.

In democratic societies, therefore, the role of states and governments is to guarantee the existence of an open and pluralistic civic space that enables these discussions, and promotes debate, disagreement, and dissidence.

As part of civil society, we will then continue working to defend freedom of expression and access to public information, and publishing documented reports, with the ultimate objective of defending the best conditions for journalistic practice so that there is a better informed society. .

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