Debate over draft law's potential impact on the right to freedom of expression

Expression

Concern has arose in the country over an article within a draft law that aims to reduce violence in the country. According to reports, article 30 of the law - Ley del Sistema Nacional de Prevención de Violencia - states that “media must contribute to the prevention of violence (...) [and exercise] ethical self-regulation of the information and non-violent content to not affect people’s mental health”. Members of the opposition in parliament raised concern over the wording of the article, which they consider vague and open to interpretation. 

According to Red por el Derecho a la Comunicación (ReDCo), the article does not negatively impact freedom of expression, as it does not necessarily control content or information. In a meeting with parliament, however, representatives of Asociación de Radiodifusores de El Salvador (ASDER) asserted the article does infringe on freedom of expression and requested that members of Parliament remove it from the draft law.

In a separate incident, a police officer threatened journalist Samuel Robles, while he was documenting a possible case of police abuse. According to Robles, when the officer saw him filming the incident, he was threatened and ordered to delete the film.  

Association

On 29th June 2017, the house of human rights defender Sonia Sanchez was raided for the second time in a month without a search warrant. Sanchez is a leader of Movimiento de Mujeres de Santo Tomás (Women’s Movement of Santo Tomás) and an environmental activist. According to Front Line Defenders, the police illegally searched her house on 7th and 29th June without a search warrant.