UPDATED: Silent #FreeOkkeOrnstein vigil in Ancon on December 22

For more information about this event and this case, go to the #FreeOkkeOrnstein website.

Silent Vigil for the Liberation of Dutch Journalist Okke Ornstein

Thursday, December 22 at 8:45 a.m. at the Personeria in Ancon
(between the DIJ and the Theatre Guild, diagonal from the farmers market)

by friends and colleagues of Okke Ornstein

There will be a silent vigil for the freedom of Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein, imprisoned since his November 15 arrest in Panama City on charges of criminal libel. Okke is now incarcerated in El Renacer Penitentiary near Gamboa. The president of Transparency International and journalist and press freedom organizations worldwide have called for his release. A hearing originally scheduled for the Supreme Court on December 22 has been sent down to Panama City’s Municipal Court.

The rights of free expression, freedom of the press and public access to information are endangered in a country whose corrupt system has created intentionally ambiguous laws that expose every writer, social media communicator, journalist and citizen to imprisonment for investigating, opining or speaking out.

Just days before the Global Anti-Corruption Conference held in Panama City from 1 to 4 December, Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein was arrested at the city’s Tocumen international airport to begin serving the jail sentence he had been given in 2012 in connection with some of his frequent blog posts about corruption in Panama.
Ornstein was sentenced to a total of 20 months in prison (eight months for insult and 12 months for libel) in response to a complaint by Canadian businessman Monte Friesner over a series of posts on one of Ornstein’s blogs, Bananama Republic, about allegedly illegal practices (fraud and money laundering) by Pronto Cash, a company created by Friesner in Panama.
Extract from a Reporters Without Borders article

Join us. Spread the word.

Come in silence. Silently we make more noise. Bring a sign. Share this with the people you know.


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