Q24N – A court in El Salvador moved to the investigation stage a criminal proceeding against the Twitter user Luis Rivas, critical of the Government, for the charge of contempt against the Public Administration and President Nayib Bukele, according to local media.
Rivas, whose alias on Twitter is “El Comisionado” (The Commissioner), was arrested on August 21 after allegedly spreading a photograph of the security deployment on a beach for one of the president’s brothers.
The Second Justice of the Peace of San Salvador held the initial hearing against Rivas and, according to the publications of various media citing judicial sources, he was granted conditional release and a bail of US$10,000 dollars.
Local media echoed a publication of the court account on social networks, which was later deleted, in which it was pointed out that the charge that Rivas faces is contempt “to the detriment of the Public Administration and the President of the Republic”.
The Attorney General’s Office has neither confirmed nor denied this information.
According to researcher Juan Pappier, of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization in the Division for the Americas, Salvadoran legislation opposes international standards on freedom of expression. “The crime of contempt, as provided for in Salvadoran law, contradicts international standards on freedom of expression,” he posted on Twitter.
The Penal Code of El Salvador establishes that contempt has sentences of between six months and three years in prison. However, if the crime is against the president, “the penalty may be increased by up to a third of its maximum.”