Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Expression and Private Life

Freedom of Expression, Defense of Honor and Privacy

Speech by Javier Sierra, Projects Director, World Press Freedom Committee

Special Meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS on the Right to Freedom of Thought and Expression and the Importance of the Media.
Date: April 24, 2009

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Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression adopted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2000.

The objective of this publication is to present inter-American jurisprudence that defines the scope and content of this right in a systematic and updated way. Among the most important topics it highlights: the importance, function, and characteristics of the right to freedom of expression, as well as the types of speech protected; the prohibition of censorship and indirect restrictions; the protection of journalists and social communications media; the exercise of freedom of expression by public officials; and freedom of expression in the area of electoral processes.
10. Privacy laws should not inhibit or restrict investigation and dissemination of information of public interest. The protection of a person’s reputation should only be guaranteed through civil sanctions in those cases in which the person offended is a public official, a public person or a private person who has voluntarily become involved in matters of public interest. In addition, in these cases, it must be proven that in disseminating the news, the social communicator had the specific intent to inflict harm, was fully aware that false news was disseminated, or acted with gross negligence in efforts to determine the truth or falsity of such news.