**UPDATE: As of 27 February, the NLG was informed that the charges against Aznarez and Saboulard were dropped.
The National Lawyers Guild International Committee expressed its solidarity with Argentine journalist Carlos Aznarez and activist Ruben Saboulard, facing criminal prosecution and severe violations of his privacy and journalistic sources in a case in Argentina where he is facing criminalization for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people during the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza.
Aznarez is director of Resumen Latinoamericano and a prominent journalist and human rights activist. The Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations (DAIA), a strongly pro-Israel lobby group in Argentina, filed a criminal complaint against him and sought to have Google release all of his emails from July 2014 forward, accusing him of “discriminatory propaganda” based on anti-Semitism because he joined a solidarity demonstration for Palestine. Saboulard was similarly accused.
International associations and prominent figures, including the American Association of Jurists and the Lawyers Guild Association of Argentina, and prominent figures such as Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize, Argentina, Nora Cortiñas, Mother of Plaza de Mayo-Línea Fundadora, Mirta Baravalle, Mother of Plaza de Mayo-Línea Fundadora, Graciela Rosenblum, President, Argentinean Human Rights League, Argentina, Ernesto Moreau, Co-President of the Human Rights Permanent Assembly, Argentina, Rene González, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Fernando González, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Antonio Guerrero, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Ramón Labañino, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Hernandez, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Noam Chomsky, Linguist, United States, James Petras, Author, United States, Peter Phillips, Professor, United States, Javier Couso Permuy, Member of the European Parliament, Spain, Lourdes Cervantes, Executive Secretary of Ospaaaal, Cuba, and Ghassan Ben Jeddoui, Director of Al Mayadeen TV, Lebanon.
The NLG International statement on Aznarez follows (Download: NLG International Statement of Solidarity with Carlos Aznarez)
With disappointment and heightened suspicion, we express concern and solidarity with journalists and political activists in Argentina, specifically Carlos Aznarez and Ruben Saboulard, who were accused of acts of “discrimination” and “anti-Semitism” after speaking out about Israel’s attack on Palestinians in Gaza at a rally in Buenos Aires in August 2014.
No account of the charges documents any anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish or racist comments made by the speakers, rather, only their critiques of Israeli state racism and Israel’s unabashed and violently aggressive attack on Palestinians in Gaza. An Argentine organization, the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations (DAIA), which is a strong political supporter of the Israeli government and its policies brought a private complaint against Aznarez and Saboulard, with the assistance of the Buenos Aires district attorney.
Aznarez, the editor of Resumen Latinoamericano, only became aware of the charges after receiving notice from Google that his emails, and those of his publication, were being sought by an Argentine prosecutor without a court order. At the time, Aznarez had no defense lawyer and was entirely unaware that he was being charged at all, yet his emails and his privacy of correspondence were being threatened, especially as a journalist who daily deals with sensitive sources.
The National Lawyers Guild International Committee expresses its solidarity with Carlos Aznarez and Ruben Saboulard, in challenging these measures against their freedom of expression and association, and view them as attempts to silence journalists, media workers and political leaders through intimidation and persecution, and the threat of loss of privacy in communications.
In particular, we note that freedom of expression and freedom of the press are enshrined in Article 14 of the Argentine Constitution, as well as Artcle 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we view this attempt to prosecute Aznarez as a violation of both the UDHR and the Argentine constitution that threatens all media workers. We are also very concerned about any involvement by the United States or the state of Israel in the suppression of the rights of Argentine journalists. We are aware of previous incidents of U.S. pressure and intervention in the Argentine justice system and reject all attempts by the U.S. and Israel to influence or undermine the rights of journalists, media workers or other Argentines.
Further, we view the attempts to use the courts to falsely portray Palestine solidarity as anti-Semitic as part of a global strategy to defend the Israeli state from criticism or prosecution for its war crimes against the Palestinian people, whether in Argentina, where Aznarez and Saboulard are targeted ; in France, where boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) organizers are facing criminal prosecutions for boycotting Israeli goods ; and in the United States, where new legislation is being proposed in an attempt to block the growing international movement to hold Israel accountable through BDS.