Peru judge hits local blogger with 3 year prison sentence, first of kind in Peru

Peruvian blogger Jose Alejandro Godoy has been sentenced to three years in prison, 120 days of social work and ordered to pay a fine of 350,000 soles ($125,580) for defamation, the first of its kind against a blogger in Peru.

Godoy’s defense said it would appeal the decision by Judge Flore de Maria La Rosa, adding that the sentence was “exaggerated and without foundation,” daily Peru.21 reported.

In 2009, former Congressman Jorge Mufarech filed charges against Godoy for a post published on his blog “Desde el Tercer Piso” (From the Third Floor) about threats made by the ex-lawmaker against Julio Arzibu Gonzales, an adviser to Peru’s Nationalist Party (PNP).

In the post, Godoy provides links to various documents, including a letter from Arzibu to Congressman Fredy Otarola of the PNP outlining the threats.

Mufarech had sent a letter to Godoy demanding the post be taken down.

The Lima-based Press and Society Institute (IPYS) called the ruling unconstitutional and without precedent.

“The lack of judicial support for the sentence… as well as the excessive sentence, shows a clear attempt, without precedent, against freedom of the press in the history of Peru. It is the first sentence that has been produced in this country against a blogger,” IPYS said.

“It is an unfair, illegal ruling,” said Godoy. “It doesn’t only go against the Constitution but against international human rights agreements,” the blogger added.

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