IGF 2023 Launch / Award Event #159 Digital apologism and civic space: the peruvian case

Time
Monday, 9th October, 2023 (00:45 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (01:15 UTC)
Room
Room K
Subtheme

Human Rights & Freedoms
Non-discrimination in the Digital Space
Technology in International Human Rights Law

Hiperderecho
Dilmar Villena, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC Lucía León, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC Elizabeth Mendoza, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC

Speakers

Dilmar Villena, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC Lucía León, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC Elizabeth Mendoza, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC

Onsite Moderator

Dilmar Villena, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC

Online Moderator

Elizabeth Mendoza, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC

Rapporteur

Elizabeth Mendoza, Hiperderecho, CSO, GRULAC

SDGs

16.10
16.3

Targets: The proposed session warns of disproportionate interference with fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression in digital contexts. By analyzing the framework of international human rights standards and the criminal offense of apology for terrorism, the event aims to shed light on possible human rights violations on the Internet. Also, the event's focus on the criminalization of online expression and its potential consequences aligns with the goal of equal access to justice for all individuals, including in the digital sphere. Improvements and legislative amendments are proposed to strengthen the rule of law.

Format

Presentation of the theoretical and normative framework, with subsequent findings and legislative and policy recommendations.

Duration (minutes)
30
Language
Spanish
Description

Peruvian legislators continually present bills to toughen or increase the penalties for crimes committed online or using ICTs. Although it makes sense for computer crimes to have specialized treatment, in reality, there are many more cases in which the exercise of free expression online is sought to be criminalized. In fact, since 2017, in Peru, the crime of apology for terrorism, when committed through social networks, has doubled the penalty than when not. In 2023, the first sentences were made public in Peru where people were convicted for this crime. For the first time, people were sentenced for committing this crime through digital platforms, for which an aggravated penalty was applied. In addition, the Ministry of the Interior opened a virtual channel to file complaints for this crime and, in turn, encouraged citizens to do so. Given the context of political upheaval, such public decisions are worrisome. On the one hand, they pose a risk to freedom of expression due to the lack of certainty as to what the Peruvian authorities understand by "terrorism" and "apology for terrorism"; and, on the other hand, it is also worrying because it aggravates penalties for a specific crime for the mere fact that it was committed over the Internet, contrary to Inter-American and human rights standards on the matter. In terms of impact, this only generates an environment of self-censorship, closure of digital civic space, surveillance and virtual patrolling without transparency on the protocols followed by law enforcement agencies. In Hiperderecho, we have analyzed the framework of international human rights standards and their link with the criminal offense of apology for terrorism. We have also analyzed the criminal jurisprudence on the subject and the existing statistical information on the prosecution of this crime. The findings will be presented as a launching of the proposed session, in order to warn about possible human rights violations on the Internet.

The session will be conducted in a hybrid manner, using the tools provided by the Secretariat (IGF Zoom and Calendar), making use of the Q&A of the video call platform, while seeking the interaction of the audience in person at the end of the presentation. There will be an online moderator and an on-site moderator. The main quotes will be shared through the organization's social networks, tagging the official IGF pages.