Constitutional Court decision regarding state advertising welcomed by CSOs

Expression

On 11th September 2018, the Peruvian Constitutional Court issued a decision in which it declared unconstitutional a law that prohibited the State from contracting state advertising with private media. Law 2133 was approved by Congress on 14th June 2018, and it was criticised by civil society organisations because it "constitutes a mechanism of indirect censorship that conceals, under the pretext of careful use of public resources, the intention to silence the press and undermine its oversight role". 

The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomed the court's decision, stating that the legislation "prohibited state advertising in a discriminatory manner".   

In a separate development, IDL-Reporteros, a Peruvian news platform, requested the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to force the government to provide urgent protection measures for journalists and officials investigating corruption. As reported previously by the CIVICUS Monitor, IDL-Reporteros published a series of articles revealing alleged acts of corruption in the Peruvian judicial system involving Supreme Court judges, ministers, members of Congress, business-people and journalists. Following the publication, the media outlet and its journalists were subject to harassment by the authorities. 

Peaceful Assembly

On 18th September 2018, hundreds of Peruvians marched in Lima to support proposed legal reforms which aim to fight corruption in the country. The reforms seek to strengthen the National Council of the Magistracy (CNM), ending the immediate re-election of members of Congress, criminalising unreported campaign contributions and moving towards a bicameral Congress.