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Lawmakers approve changes to controversial “Gag law”

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April 11th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) After a marathon session on Tuesday night, lawmakers approved on first reading amendments to the Computer Crimes Act, which had commonly become known as the “Gag Law,” due to widespread controversy surrounding the law. 

 

The term “secret political information” is no longer mentioned in the Act, and instead has been replaced with “duly enacted state secrets,” in articles 293 and 295.

 

The controversial legislation was originally put into force in November 2012, and threatened both journalists and private citizens with up to 10 years in jail for publishing “secret political information.”

 

Journalists and observers decried the passage of the law, stating that it effectively ended the freedom of expression for journalists in the country.

 

Hermes Gonzalez Alvarez, president of the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights Foundation, said at the time that the “Gag Law” not only put journalists at risk, but also human rights organizations that report corruption and abuse.

 

Journalists took the case to the Constitutional Court shortly after the bill’s passage, with whom the court sided, temporarily suspending the law.

 

Lawyers had even threatened to take the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

 

President of the Journalists Association, Jose Rodolfo Ibarra, welcomed the adoption of Tuesday’s reforms and urged lawmakers to adopt the changes as soon as possible.

 

 

 

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  • georgechapogas

    you have been infected by spam posts. eliminate them all!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimmy.burnside.188 Jimmy Burnside

    So now the question is, what exactly are “duly enacted state secrets”? Who decides? This change is no real winner for the people. Watch next for secret courts with secret jurors and other secret things like we currently have in the U.S.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Morris/100001033121747 Ken Morris

      I’m tentatively OK with “duly enacted state secrets,” since it has the ring of being capable of challenge on the basis of whether a state secret was “duly enacted.” Law-writing should be general like this, and the courts will decide, but “duly enacted” is much better than the old phrasing.

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