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Thu Aug 30, 2012, 09:05 PM

Ecuadorean journalist granted asylum in Miami

Source: Reuters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:02pm GMT

MIAMI (Reuters) - A newspaper columnist who fled Ecuador after he was sentenced to jail and ordered to pay millions of dollars in a libel case pushed by President Rafael Correa has been granted asylum in the United States, his lawyer said on Thursday ...

Last year, a court in Ecuador sentenced Palacio and three owners of El Universo to prison and ordered them to pay $40 million in damages, a sum that stunned global media watchdogs.

In February, Correa threw out the sentences, saying in a televised speech he had decided to "pardon the accused and grant them remission of the sentences that they rightly received."

In its case against Palacio, the government cited a 2011 opinion piece he wrote titled "No To Lies" which referred to Correa as "the Dictator" and criticized his actions during a bloody police revolt a year earlier ...



Read more: http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFBRE87T1MD20120830

15 replies, 2434 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ecuadorean journalist granted asylum in Miami (Original post)
struggle4progress Aug 2012 OP
randome Aug 2012 #1
tama Aug 2012 #5
Zorro Aug 2012 #10
tama Aug 2012 #12
LadyHawkAZ Aug 2012 #2
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #3
LadyHawkAZ Aug 2012 #14
hack89 Aug 2012 #4
MADem Aug 2012 #15
Proletariatprincess Aug 2012 #6
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #7
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #8
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #9
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #11
tama Aug 2012 #13

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 09:19 PM

1. Just when you think the irony and paradoxes can go no further...

...you have to find something new! I don't know whether to laugh or move to another planet!

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 09:59 PM

5. What is the irony?

 

Correa has been fighting - succesfully - through legal means against local equivalents of FOX and Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh. And pardoned them, because the fight is not about personal vendetta, but stripping away their some of their power to lie and deceit the public.

That's a good fight. Correa and the oil industry has been also fighting against the rural indigenous population of Ecuador. That is a bad fight.

US gives asylum to this guy, numerous Latin American former heads of states wanted for corruption and murder and other countries, US gives asylum to Cuban terrorist on CIA payroll who murdered 100 people. What else is new?

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Response to tama (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:29 PM

10. This fight is absolutely a personal vendetta

Correa is a hothead and a bully, and cannot tolerate pointed media criticism.

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Response to Zorro (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:41 PM

12. I don't have the honor

 

of knowing the gentleman personally, so can't comment - and frankly I don't give a damn. I'm not into leadership cults of any kind, so don't care about "character issues".

I'm interested in following politics and seeing positive changes. I know what is Correa's base of support - urban poor dependent from oil - and he's doing both something good and something bad in relation to my political sympathies, which are against capitalism and neocolonialism and with the indigenous movement of Ecuador.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 09:26 PM

2. Amazing!

And here last week we didn't believe in asylum! How times do change!

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 09:39 PM

3. Don't quit the day job before you brush up on your terminology

the peculiar theory of so-called "diplomatic asylum" is popular in Latin America but not accepted elsewhere

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 12:07 AM

14. But...but... that's not possible!

...cuz, see, there's have to be some kind of political persecution involved for us to do that, and per your own article, there isn't! The government doesn't want him for anything! Correa pardoned him! Even though a court reviewed the evidence and ordered him arrested!

If you're saying that's persecution, that would mean you'd be admitting that there might be vast government conspiracies to persecute individuals that those governments might not be telling us about! And that the judgement of courts can be politically manipulated! And I know you couldn't be saying anything like that, because you've been insisting that never happens!

(of course, if this is your way of saying that your previous opposition to Assange, as stated in many, many, many, many, many op/eds, was completely in error, your apology is accepted)

Keep up the day job. It's entertaining.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 09:46 PM

4. Two seperate issues.

Diplomatic asylum is not recognized in international law. Political asylum is what you are thinking about - which is not what was give Assange.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 12:35 AM

15. Distinction with, or without, a difference, apparently....

From your source:

The United States can only formally grant asylum to political figures once they actually are on U.S. soil, as dictated by the Refugee Act of 1980. But the U.S. has a long record of protecting political targets inside U.S. embassy complexes, most recently with Chinese blind dissident Chen Guangcheng last December.

That might seem like a distinction without a difference to many. However, Chen never sought or was granted asylum; he simply asked to study in the United States and the Chinese government eventually assented.

In 1989, the U.S. granted "temporary refuge" to Feng Lizhi, a leader of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement, who fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and stayed there for 384 days before Chinese authorities allowed him to go to the United States, but officially only for "medical treatment."

Joseph Stalin's daughter Svetlana sought refuge in 1967 via the U.S. Embassy in India and was eventually granted U.S. citizenship.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:13 PM

6. This story has the strong odor of propaganda

I smell BS coming from the US State department.
Like Venezuela, Equador is subject to US dirty tricks and it is likely that the CIA is behind the right wing media and/or that it is owned and operated by multinational corporate interests who have no interest in human or civil rights in any country.
I don't like this story. It seems simplistic and incomplete. I don't trust reuters anymore.

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Response to Proletariatprincess (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:24 PM

7. Ecuador court sentences journalists to prison in Presidential libel case

22 juillet 2011
Ecuador court sentences journalists to prison in Presidential libel case
The libel case comes amid concerns about freedom of expression in Ecuador


An Ecuadoran judge’s harsh sentence against a newspaper that criticized the President will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the country, Amnesty International said today.

A court in the coastal city of Guayaquil on Wednesday sentenced three directors and a former columnist of El Universo to three years in prison and imposed punitive damages totalling US$40 million.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa sued the newspaper for criminal libel after a February 2011 column called him a “dictator”.

“This harsh sentence is an attack on the right to free speech for everyone in Ecuador, and will discourage journalists from engaging in legitimate criticism of the government,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty International’s Deputy Americas Director ...

http://www.amnesty.org/fr/node/25752

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Response to Proletariatprincess (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:27 PM

8. As it backs Assange, Ecuador stifles expression at home

By Carlos Lauría
Americas Senior Program Coordinator

... A 2011 CPJ special report found that Correa and his administration had a record of filing defamation lawsuits in civil and criminal courts as a means of intimidating critics. A case against the leading newspaper El Universo was emblematic of the practice. In February, Correa won a libel suit against the paper. Three directors and former opinion editor Emilio Palacio were sentenced to three years each in prison and a total of US$40 million in damages. Correa's complaint stemmed from a February 2011 opinion column that suggested the president could be charged with crimes against humanity for his actions during a violent police uprising in 2010. Correa later pardoned the journalists--after having accomplished his goal of intimidating anyone who might challenge his policies. (It was too late for Palacio, who fled the country for fear of imprisonment.) ...


http://www.cpj.org/blog/2012/08/as-it-backs-assange-ecuador-represses-free-express.php

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Response to Proletariatprincess (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:28 PM

9. Ecuador: Journalist sentenced to prison flees to Miami

August 30th, 2011

After being sentenced to three years in prison for defamation, an Ecuadorian journalist has fled the country and sought refuge in Miami, according to newspaper reports. Emilio Palacio of El Universo, who was sued for criticising President Rafael Correa, arrived in the United States on 24 August. “I’d have to be blind to not understand that they want me behind bars,” he said in a letter spread via Twitter on 28 August. Meanwhile, El Universo has published a letter directed at President Correa asking him to stop the legal action against the journalist.

http://www.indexoncensorship.org/tag/emilio-palacio/

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Response to Proletariatprincess (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:30 PM

11. Ecuador: El Universo journalist and directors sentenced to three years in prison and US$40m fine

Ecuador: El Universo journalist and directors sentenced to three years in prison and US$40m fine for libeling President
Posted August 3rd, 2011 by English PEN staff

... In March 2011, President Rafael Correa brought criminal libel charges against Emilio Palacio, columnist for the Guayaquil-based daily El Universo, and the newspaper’s co-directors Carlos Eduardo Pérez Barriga, César Enrique Pérez Barriga and Carlos Nicolás Pérez Enrique over a 6 February 2011 article entitled ‘No to Lies’ (‘No a las mentiras‘).

In the article, Palacio refers to President Correa as “the dictator” and accuses him of wanting to pardon three policemen who were behind an uprising on 30 September 2010 during which several people were killed. He also insinuates that the President may be guilty of crimes against humanity by allegedly ordering troops to open fire on a police hospital where he sought refuge after being attacked by protesters. The President asked the court to sentence each of the defendants to the maximum of three years in prison and to fine them US$50 million under Article 493 of the Ecuadorian Criminal Code. He also sought US$30 million in damages from the newspaper’s parent company.

On 7 July, Palacio resigned from El Universo in the hope that the move would lead President Correa to withdraw the case. However, this proved unsuccessful and the trial began on 19 July, attended by the President in person. The co-directors of El Universo offered to print a correction drafted by the President, an offer which he rejected despite having previously said he would drop the case if such a correction were published.

On 20 July, less than 24 hours after the trial started, the four journalists were sentenced to three years in prison each and fined a total of US$30 million. The paper’s parent company was also ordered to pay an additional US$10 million in damages. According to the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the defendants must also pay US$2 million to the President’s attorneys in legal fees. The IACHR Special Rapporteur also said that prior to the hearing the government had issued several statements disparaging El Universo, its board members and Palacio, and that groups of protesters supportive of the government reportedly insulted the defendants and a witness as they left the tribunal ...

http://www.englishpen.org/ecuador-el-universo-journalist-and-directors-sentenced-to-three-years-in-prison-and-us40m-fine-for-libeling-president/

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Response to Proletariatprincess (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:46 PM

13. It was alright

 

fairly balanced short background in a simple news story, mentioned violent police and Correa's pardon. There have been much much worse.

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