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Ecuador Moves to Shut Down Press Freedom Group

Ecuador's government has initiated proceedings to shut down the South American nation's sole remaining press freedom group. It accuses Fundamedios of political partisanship.

Fundamedios director Cesar Ricuarte said Wednesday that the watchdog group was notified Tuesday in a letter from the Communications Secretariat.

Ricuarte said Fundamedios was targeted for unflaggingly denouncing government attacks on Ecuadorean journalists. The letter says the organization's publication of blogs with political analysis and opinion are what make it partisan.

Ricauarte called the accusation absurd.

He said the government gave the group 10 days to respond.

The Associated Press called the Communications Secretariat and was told no one there would have any comment.

President Rafael Correa's government has used criminal libel prosecutions and a media law considered among the hemisphere's most repressive against critical voices.