Panama

Organisations denounce judicial harassment of press in Panama

On 17th July 2020, eleven civil society organisations sent a letter to Edison Lanza, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, requesting that he speak up against judicial harassment of members of the press in Panama. Read more

Organisations denounce judicial harassment of press in Panama

Court rulings against La Prensa set dangerous precedents for press freedom in Panama

On 8th June 2020, a court ruling banned newspaper La Prensa from publishing images of lawyer Janio Lescure, who has been implicated in allegations of corruption. Read more

Court rulings against La Prensa set dangerous precedents for press freedom in Panama

Panama: coronavirus restrictions lifted and reimplemented

According to news media, Panama’s Ministry of Public Security counted at least 57 demonstrations during the pandemic. These protests were mainly organised by people demanding emergency government aid. Read more

Panama: coronavirus restrictions lifted and reimplemented

LGBTI+ activists warn of discriminatory measures in response to COVID-19

On 24th March 2020, Panama’s president Laurentino Cortizo announced the implementation of mandatory quarantine across the country in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since then, hundreds of people have been detained for violating lockdown rules. As detailed in the ‘Association’ section of this update, civil society organisations have criticised a particular restriction establishing alternate days for women and men to leave their homes for essential tasks. Read more

LGBTI+ activists warn of discriminatory measures in response to COVID-19

Smear campaign against Panamanian newspaper La Prensa

On 11th February 2020, the president of publishing group Corprensa, Diego Quijano Durán, published a note in the La Prensa newspaper refuting a series of false or misleading information about the outlet which were spread in a defamation campaign. Read more

Tags: harassment
Smear campaign against Panamanian newspaper La Prensa

Report on freedom of expression highlights criminal defamation

On 10th December 2019, Panama’s Fórum de Periodistas por la Libertades de Expresión e Información (Journalists’ Forum for Freedom of Expression and Information) published a report on freedom of expression between 1st December 2018 and 30th November 2019. In the report, the criminalisation of slander and libel is highlighted as a serious restriction. In addition, according to the report, lawsuits demanding millions in compensation from journalists for “crimes against honour” have multiplied. Read more

Report on freedom of expression highlights criminal defamation

Constitutional reforms incite protests in Panama

On 22 October 2019, students and employees of the University of Panama marched to the National Assembly to demand the removal of two articles from a legislative proposal to reform Panama’s Political Constitution. The articles, protesters claimed, would affect the functioning of higher education and reduce universities’ autonomy. Over 10,000 people took part in the peaceful march in heavy rain. On 30 October 2019, in another march, over 50 protesters were detained, among them 6 minors. The police used pepper spray to disperse demonstrators, who in turn chanted, “we are more and we are not afraid”. Read more

Constitutional reforms incite protests in Panama

Journalist associations warn of political decisions that impair freedom of expression in Panama

This update covers developments taking place between 20 July 2019 and 27 August 2019. In this period, Panamanian groups organised demonstrations around various causes – for example, against corruption and budget cuts in education – and temporarily blocked passage in key streets. Protests remained peaceful and there were no reports of incidents in the demonstrations. On 6 August 2019, four Panamanian journalists’ organisations issued a statement expressing concern over practices that they claim are affecting the relationship between the National Assembly and the media. Read more

Journalist associations warn of political decisions that impair freedom of expression in Panama

In Panama, harassment and sanctions limit journalists' work

Although Panama rose from the 91st position in 2018 to 79th in Reporters Without Borders' 2019 Press Freedom Index, some recurrent situations still engender restrictions to freedom of press in the country. In the period covered by this update, there have been two incidents related to press freedom, including an Electoral Tribunal decision to restrict media access to candidates during election day. There were also three separate protests, one of which resulted in clashes between groups of opposing political views. Read more

In Panama, harassment and sanctions limit journalists' work

Continued pensioners protests face tear gas

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, pensioners have been demonstrating in Panama since December 2018 to demand the approval of legislation that would increase their pensions. Read more

Continued pensioners protests face tear gas