IFJ and EFJ Back Fecolper's Call for Media Law Reform in Colombia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional

group, the European Federation of Journalists ( EFJ) today backed the petition

to the Constitutional Court in Colombia by the Federation of Colombian

Journalists (Fecolper) in a bid to strengthen press freedom in the country.

In a letter sent to Fecolper for inclusion in the submissions to the

Colombian constitutional court in support of the appeal to decriminalize

defamation, the IFJ and EFJ note the clear and direct threat to press freedom

when media are forced to practice self- censorship over cases involving the

powerful and wealthy.

"The threat of prison has a clear chilling effect on the media and

stifles investigative journalism that is so vital for exposing corruption,

protecting human rights and building democracy," says the letter

The letter, signed by IFJ General Secretary Aidan White and EFJ

President Arne König, urged the Court to reform the law on defamation. It

further pointed to the European example where the Case Law of the European

Court of Human Rights and position of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of

Europe promote the decriminalisation of defamation.

For more information,

please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents more than

600.000 members in 125 countries