Editor Milton Chacaguasay Jailed Again
International PEN is outraged by the re-imprisonment of La Verdad editor Milton Chacaguasay Flores less than two months after he was released on parole. On July 9, 2009, Chacaguasay was jailed for four months for allegedly libeling a judge, the same charges for which he was jailed in November 2008. PEN is calling for Chacaguasay’s immediate and unconditional release.
On November 15, 2008, Milton Chacaguasay Flores, editor and director of the weekly newspaper La Verdad, based in Machala, southern Ecuador, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for allegedly libeling a judge. He was jailed on November 30, 2008, and was released on parole in mid-May 2009, having served half of his sentence.
However, on July 9—less than two months after his release—Chacaguasay was re-imprisoned following a new verdict for the same offense. He had been sentenced to one month in prison in April, but the sentence was increased to four months following an appeal.
Chacaguasay reportedly did not have the opportunity to defend himself and has denounced serious violations of due process. He says he fears for his life in prison and has requested protection from the authorities. The new sentence is due to expire on November 8, 2009.
The journalist is reportedly facing a number of other lawsuits, including one seeking damages of US$400,000 on the same charges.
Write A Letter
- Protesting the re-imprisonment of La Verdad editor Milton Chacaguasay Flores for allegedly libeling a judge on July 9, 2009, less than two months after he was released on parole for the same offense. PEN believes his conviction and detention to be in violation of his right to freedom of expression under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights, to which Ecuador is party;
- Expressing concern over reports that Chacaguasay was not given the opportunity to defend himself and that due process has been violated;
- Calling for Chacaguasay to be released immediately and unconditionally;
- Urging the Ecuadorian authorities to decriminalize press offenses in line with Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Send Your Letter To
President Rafael Correa
Palacio de Carondelet
García Moreno 1043
Entre Chile y Espejo
Fax: +593 2 258 0714
Ab. Néstor Arbito Chica
Ministro de Justicia y Derechos Humanos
Av. Amazonas 4545 y Atahualpa
Fax: +593 2 246 4971
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative of Ecuador in your country if possible.
Please check with PEN if sending appeals after September 24, 2009: ftw[at]pen.org