25 de Feb de 2020

Nacional

Journalist condemned

PANAMA. Attacks on the freedom of the press through the judicial system continue to mount.

PANAMA. Attacks on the freedom of the press through the judicial system continue to mount.

Following the two year jail sentence imposed on Jean Marcel Chery, another journalist has been condemned by the Panamanian courts over an article published on November 14 2005, which said that a presidential guard had ties with a drug trafficking case.

Rafael Antonio Ruiz was sentenced to pay $1000 for the crime of libel and slander by the 14th Penal Circuit judge, Secundino Mendieta.

Judge Mendieta is the same one who condemned Chery the current editor of the daily El Siglo, to two years in jail over an article about a road built with government money that would directly benefit the farm of the then Minister of Government and Justice and current judge of the Supreme Court, Winston Spadafora.

The sentence has received widespread criticism throughout Latin America, and was condemned as an attack on press freedom by president elect Ricado Martinelli.

Ruiz said that he is going to appeal his sentence because it is a clear attack on the freedom of the press. Meanwhile Chery told the Panama Star that he is currently working on his appeal before the 2nd Superior Tribunal of Justice.