#WHRDAlert EL SALVADOR / Cyber-bullying, threats, misogynist insults and smear campaign against journalist Karen Fernández


Defense of freedom of the press

Attacks experienced
Cyber-bullyling, threats, misogynist insults, smear campaign

THE FACTS – Last June 28th, during an interview on the program “República SV” of Channel 33, the journalist Karen Fernández shared her arguments regarding the use of political communication in the “Territorial Control Plan,” now being implemented as one of the security measures of the Nayib Bukele administration.

In her remarks, the journalist pointed out similarities between the discourse on repressive measures used by the new government and the discourse of previous administrations. She also expressed her concern over the conditions in which detained persons are being held due to the implementation of these measures.

An extract from the journalist’s interview was posted on Tuiter, fostering a number of negative responses. President Nayib Bukele disseminated the same passage, leading to a rise in the intimidation and harassment against her through misogynous, macho insults, professional delegitimization, and threats implying sexual violence.

Other guests on the TV program, including the economist and university professor Julia Evelyn Martínez, and the attorney and human rights defender Claudia Ortiz, were also attacked in the social networks for expressing their concerns ove possible human rights violations in the implementation of the “Terrritorial Control Plan.”

We of IM-Defensoras and the Salvadoran Network of Women Human Rights Defenders extend our solidarity to the journalist Karen Fernández, to the Association of Journalists in El Salvador, and to the analysts Julia Evelyn Martínez and Claudia Ortiz. We acknowledge the fact that their labor contributes to the construction of social dialogue and citizen control in the process of strengthening a democratic State.

We demand State protection for the journalist Karen Fernández and an end to the attacks and insults against her in social networks by persons close to the Presidential Cabinet. In particular, we call on President Nayib Bukele to assume this same responsibility; to respect the right to freedom of expression; and to offer the necessary guarantees for journalists to do their work without fear of reprisals and aggression for doing so.

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