Urgent Action: Law initiative endangers NGOs, HRDs and media (El Salvador: UA 121.21)

November 24, 2021

On November 9, 2021, the Minister of the Interior in El Salvador presented the legal initiative “Ley de Agentes Extranjeros”. The proposed law, which would prohibit “foreign agents” from carrying out activities that have “political or other purposes, with the objective of altering public order, or that endanger or threaten national security, social and political stability of the country”, will restrict and hinder the operations and activities of civil society organizations working in the defense of human rights and independent journalism. The bill establishes requirements that will have a disproportionate effect in those NGOs that receive funding from abroad. If passed, the law would affect funding, operations, and freedom of association for those who protect human rights in the country and/or disagree with the government.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on January 23, 2021.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 121.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Ernesto Castro Aldana
President of Congress
Centro de Gobierno “José Simeón Cañas”,
San Salvador CP 1101, El Salvador
Twitter: @ECastroES ;
@AsambleaSV
Ambassador Milena Mayorga
Embassy of the Republic of El Salvador
1400 16th St NW Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 595-7500 / Fax: (202) 232-3763
Email: [email protected] ; [email protected]
Twitter: @MilenaMayorga
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Congressman Castro,

I am writing to you because I am deeply concerned about the law initiative “Ley the Agentes Extranjeros” that the government sent to Congress for approval last November 9, 2021. The initiative presented, restrains human rights organizations’ access to financial cooperation funds limiting their means of financing and thus their work. The law contributes to the stigmatization and criminalization of human rights defenders, NGOs and independent media and risks freedom of expression for those who do not agree with the government’s views. A law like this also affects all Salvadoran people that turn to these organizations for support to denounce human rights violations and find justice.

I urge you and all members of Congress to shelve the law and refrain from passing any future law initiatives that endanger the work of human rights defenders and press in the country.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES