GHRC, along with Cultural Survival, asks you to sign on to a letter to support the legalization of Guatemalan community radio stations. The stations and their communities have the legal right to operate licenses as guaranteed under the 1996 Guatemalan Peace Accords, Article 35 of the Guatemalan constitution, Article 16 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the International Labor Organization Convention 169.
Despite many promises, the legal use of radio frequencies remains inaccessible for communities in Guatemala, who lack the money (up to US $125,000) to bid for a license. Some 600 stations operate without licenses, many of them working out of one-room offices with donated equipment. They are subject to police raids, fines, and are sometimes shut down.
TAKE ACTION NOW BY SIGNING ON TO GHRC'S LETTER TO PRESIDENT COLOM
August 6, 2009: Raul Figueroa Sarti was sentenced to one year in prison for alleged copyright infringement. Figueroa is a well-known progressive voice, publishing books on historic memory, mass grave exhumations, and femicide. His sentence was based on publishing a photo on the cover of a book, supposedly without the permission of the photographer; however, Figueroa testified that he had permission to use the photo (with the photographer’s name credited on the back cover).
Figueroa’s work contributes greatly to human rights publications in Guatemala. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press is at risk when journalists and publishers are subjected to unjust prosecutions, using the legal system as a tool to censor and intimidate. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression stated that this sentence violates Articles 19 and 20 of the International Agreement on Political and Civil Rights.
TAKE ACTION NOW BY SIGNING ON TO GHRC'S LETTERTO ATTORNEY GENERAL VELASQUEZ