IACHR will analyze the critical situation of freedom of expression in Colombia
Next Monday March 23, in Washington, DC

Jueves 19 de marzo de 2009, por Prensa - Colectivo

This Monday March 23, as part of the hearings scheduled during the 134th period of sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a public hearing, requested the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective and the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission, will be held in the OAS General Secretariat Building in the city of Washington.

This Monday March 23, as part of the hearings scheduled during the 134th period of sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a public hearing, requested the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective and the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission, will be held in the OAS General Secretariat Building in the city of Washington.

The hearing, which will begin at 3 in the afternoon and will be webcast live on the OAS site, has the objective of analyzing the current situation of the freedom of expression in Colombia, at a time when this right is under threat from the ongoing false accusations made against journalists by the government, public officials and members of the public force.

It should be stressed that these statements have not only put at risk the lives of journalists and columnists, among others, but have also hindered their work, especially that which concerns monitoring public and political actions.

With respect to this point, it should be remembered that this past February 9 the UN Rapporteur for the Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank La Rue, and the IACHR Special Rapporteur for the Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero, expressed their concern for the statements made by president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who during a press conference on February 3 of this year indicated that the journalist Hollman Morris “hid behind being a journalist to be a permissive accomplice of terrorism.”

Likewise, the government made statements against the journalist –and former employee of the Telesur Network- Jorge Enrique Botero, who was one of the members of the mission that liberated three military members and a police officer held by the FARC guerrilla group. Specifically, it was said “he played a publicity game for terrorism,” after he showed some photographs of the humanitarian mission to the AP news service.

On this same March 23, other public hearings will also take place on Colombia, including the issues of alliances between politicians and paramilitaries, the independence of the judicial power, the human rights situation of indigenous persons, union freedoms and fundamental worker rights and a hearing on the specific case of Marino López Mena, an Afro-Colombian who was murdered in 1997 during a joint military and paramilitary operation in the Atrato region in the Chocó department.

Afiliaciones

Afiliado a la Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos
y la Organización Mundial contra la Tortura
Estatus Consultivo en la OEA

José Alvear Restrepo

Nace en Medellín el 1 de julio de 1913 en el seno de una familia de profundas convicciones religiosas y bajo los parámetros de la ideología del partido conservador. Realiza sus estudios en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Antioquia, donde se gradúa de Abogado con una brillante tesis titulada: "Conflictos del trabajo: la huelga"

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