El Salvador: President supports bill decriminalising libel

Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes has shown his support for a reform bill to decriminalise defamation, but only if certain changes are implemented. Funes, an ex-journalist, has largely supported the decree to substitute the penalty of imprisonment for crimes against public image and privacy, with monetary fines. But the reform, which was approved by the legislative assembly on 8 September, also suggests suspending journalists for up to two years, should they be found guilty of a crime against someone’s honour, and the president has suggested that this condition be removed.