Fortuño: New code won’t hit free speech
“Free speech and freedom of the press are protecting in the U.S. and Puerto Rico constitutions,” the governor said. “I will be the first to defend those rights and no law can change that.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Puerto Rican Independence Party, the island Bar Association and others have criticized a provision in the new penal code that restricts protests that block public buildings and interfere with local government, measures that appear to be aimed at demonstrations in recent years at the University of Puerto Rico and outside the Capitol building.
William Ramírez, the executive director of the ACLU in Puerto Rico, said the restrictions are unconstitutional and the group is considering a legal challenge.
“This is nothing new. Anyone who wants to protest outside the Capitol will be able to do so,” Fortuño said. “They can tote bullhorns, placards and shout protest slogans as has always been done in Puerto Rico.”