Correa’s defamation win exposes country’s "disturbing" free expression situation

, by IFEX

Two Ecuadoran journalists have been ordered to pay President Rafael Correa US$2 million in moral damages - the latest in a string of incidents that point to a "disturbing" and "deteriorating" free expression situation in Ecuador under President Rafael Correa, says IFEX-ALC, an alliance of 16 IFEX members in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Juan Carlos Calderón and Christian Zurita wrote the book "El Gran Hermano" (Big Brother), which alleged that US$600 million in government contracts were awarded to businesses linked to President Correa’s older brother.

In the 7 February ruling, the judge said the accusations against the president had caused him moral damage akin to "spiritual harm," a principle that doesn’t exist in Ecuadorean law, reports IFEX-ALC.

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