What do the international media think about the conviction against Christopher Acosta?

On Monday, January 10, 2022, journalist Christopher Acosta and editor Jerónimo Pimentel received a scandalous 2-year sentence from Peruvian judge Jesús Vega for having written a book on the life of Peruvian politician César Acuña, “Silver as a court” which qualify as a crime of aggravated defamation. The event has generated a wave of rejections on international portals.

The Spanish newspaper El País described this sentence as “A case that threatens freedom of expression” and considers this sentence “a dangerous precedent against investigative journalism” that also requires the payment of a fine of 1,875 soles (468 dollars) and compensation of 400,000 soles (100,000 dollars).

Likewise, the German channel Deutsche Welle, in its article quoted the judge as saying that “everyone has the right to freedom of expression without prior authorization or censorship” regarding the unauthorized biography of the leader of the center-right party Alliance for Progress ( APP), César Acuña.

For its part, through a statement, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) regretted the serious sentence in Peru that affects press freedom. “The IAPA regrets that in Peru the lawsuits of public figures and criminal proceedings against journalists continue to be used as a way to stop the dissemination of critical information of public interest.”

The organization also asked the Peruvian Congress to legislate “urgently” to decriminalize crimes against honor.

Similarly, the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (Abraji) supported Acosta through his Twitter account. “Abraji sympathizes with the Peruvian journalist author of the book” Plata como cancha “, to two years in prison with probation and the payment of US $ 100,000 in a defamation lawsuit filed by the character of the work, César Acuña Peralta, former presidential candidate of Peru ”.

The Association of Foreign Press in Peru (APEP) expressed its concern at the sentence handed down, as it stated that it violates the fundamental principles of the exercise of journalism, both for the national and international press.

“The APEP stands in solidarity with the journalist Christopher Acosta and with the editor Jerónimo Pimentel, sentenced for defamation to two years in suspended prison and to compensate the businessman and politician César mints with 400,000 soles, extremes that it trusts can be reversed in a higher instance “, He said.

The association warned that the sentence “violates international standards such as the doctrine of faithful reporting, which exonerates from responsibility anyone who accurately reproduces information or statements of people on matters of public interest.”

The Peruvian Press Council and the National Association of Journalists of Peru strongly rejected the ruling and will request a visit from the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to investigate what happened in this judgment.