U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the recently passed communications law in Ecuador which further restricts freedom of the press and goes into effect tomorrow, and the ongoing assault by Correa on the Ecuadorian people's fundamental rights. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"For a man who is claiming that he is taking the necessary risks to stand up and fight to change things, NSA leaker Snowden has remained remarkably silent on the abuses perpetrated by the Correa government in Ecuador against its own people. The latest communications law passed under Rafael Correa in Ecuador is yet another example of the continued assault on the independent press by the South American nation's autocratic leader. In recent years Correa has engaged in a steady war against the free press, fining and jailing editors and journalists, pre-empting media segments, and filing oppressive defamation lawsuits simply because the material was seen as critical of Correa or his government. As with these actions, this new law is aimed at intimidating and restricting the space in which independent media and citizens can freely express themselves. For example, one of its most troubling provisions would significantly reduce the amount of broadcasting space that private media can operate, effectively shutting them out of the national conversation.
"And this is the man Snowden has run to in order to help him champion the cause of freedom and transparency? This latest law should serve as a wakeup call to the world about the rapidly increasing restrictions on people's freedoms in Ecuador under Correa."