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Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Uruguay

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1997
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Uruguay, February 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5651ec.html [accessed 24 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Various media and journalists' organizations called on government officials to reform a national press law that provides for a "right of reply." Under this law, which mirrors a troubling regional trend, a court can decide how editors must respond to complaints from people who feel they have been aggrieved by a news report, eroding the editorial independence of the news media to decide how to publicize a correction or response.

In May, the editor in chief, managing editor, and two reporters with the Montevideo daily La República were convicted of violating press laws and insulting a head of state, and received a two-year jail sentence. The editors were imprisoned immediately; the reporters were out of the country. In a significant act of solidarity, the Uruguayan press strongly condemned the convictions. La República editor in chief Federico Fasano Martens, in an article in the Uruguayan magazine Noticias, described how he continued to edit the newspaper from his jail cell. On June 7, authorities released the editors.

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