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Latino Daily News

Friday October 29, 2010

Concern Over Prison Term for Panamanian Journalists Growing

The United Nations (UN) voiced concern over a prison sentence for two Panamanian journalists, who had earlier been acquitted on charges of slander and libel.

Frank La Rue from the UN said in a statement that, according to available information, the two journalists were also prohibited from carrying out activities related to their profession for one year.

“This judicial decision represents a worrying precedent for the efforts being made to decriminalize such incidents, especially in cases such as this, wherein the act which led to the punishment relates to information about the actions of public officials,” Mr. La Rue stressed.

Although the prison term was later commuted to a fine and there was the possibility of a pardon, the UN is stressing the importance of the right of citizens to be fully informed about the activities of public officials.