-Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información requests that the Ecuadorian State suspend and rescind this procedure because of its serious violation of the rights of freedom of speech and Association.
Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información, which represents 22 organizations from 18 countries of the Americas, expresses its total rejection regarding the attempt to dissolve the Organization FUNDAMEDIOS of Ecuador, based on a procedure initiated on legal grounds that do not conform to international standards, that do not give full guarantees of respect for due process, and that seriously affect the right of freedom of Association and freedom of speech. Alianza Regional warns that this action of authority puts at risk the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of speech and severely contradicts international human rights standards. As the Inter-American system has pointed out repeatedly, the right to freedom of speech is a fundamental element that is structurally related to democracy. For the Inter-American Court of human rights, freedom of expression is «conditio sinequa non» so that political parties, trade unions, the scientific and cultural societies and in general, those who wish to influence the community can develop entirely. This condition is so that the community will be sufficiently informed in the moment of choosing their options and exercising their rights», and this right,»particularly in matters of public interest, includes the dissemination of information or ideas, even those that are unpleasant for the State or any sector of the population».
On September 8thof this year, the Ministry of communication (SECOM) notified FUNDAMEDIOS of a resolution that initiated the procedure of its dissolution, using as an argument its generation of alerts and public communications activities. This is based on the Executive Decree No. 16, norm that contains ambiguous and optional grounds, which do not guarantee the due process and the access to an impartial judge; this had already been stated in a previous report of Alianza Regional . Secom had already sought to stifle the freedom of speech of FUNDAMEDIOS by intimidating the organization to cease its informative activities in the month of June.
On the other hand, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has pointed out repeatedly that «the right of Assembly and freedom of Association have been widely recognized as substantial civil rights that provide protection against arbitrary interference of the State when people decide to join others and these are fundamental to the existence and the function of a democratic society» and these rights «impose on States the duty to create legal and factual conditions in which it can freely develop its function».
Alianza Regional warns of a lack of guarantees for due process in this case, and the absence of an impartial judge. As the Court has noted the «article 8.1 of the Convention does not apply only to judges and courts.»The guarantees referred to in this norm are to be observed in the different procedures in the bodies of the state to adopt decisions on the determination of the rights of persons, since the State also gives administrative authorities, collegiate, or sole proprietorships the task of adopting decisions that determine rights».
It is necessary to recall that the General Assembly of the OAS, in resolution AG/RES. 2680 / 2011 on «Promotion of the rights of Assembly and Association in the Americas», called upon member statesto respect and protect these rights, indicatingthat any eventual restriction should be“in accordance with the obligations that concern them by virtue of the norms and international agreements of human rights”.
For these reasons, Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información requests the State to suspend and ultimately leave without effect this procedure for the serious damage that it has exerted on the rights of freedomof speech and association and the lack of guarantees in the due process of its member Ecuador FUNDAMEDIOS, and further states it will pursue adverse consequences for the rights that arise from this procedure. The Alianza Regional is a network that works since 2005 on strengthening the capacities and knowledge of member organizations to enable them to perform interventions aimed to improve the conditions of freedom of speech and access to information in their countries.
ALIANZA REGIONAL POR LA LIBRE EXPRESIÓN E INFORMACIÓN
 «The right to freedom of association and assembly in Bolivia , Ecuador and Nicaragua ,» December 2013. Available http://www.alianzaregional.net/wp-content/uploads/Informe-El-Derecho-a-la-Libertad-de-Reuni%C3%B3n-y-Asociaci%C3%B3n.pdf