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International body demands response from Mexican government on congressman convicted as a “political offender” for censored Twitter/X posts

WASHINGTON, DC (11 March 2024) The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has served the Mexican government with a petition filed by ADF International on behalf of Congressman Gabriel Quadri. In April 2022, Quadri, a Mexican congressman and former presidential candidate, was convicted for “gender based political violence” on the basis of his Twitter/X posts regarding gender. Currently preparing to run for reelection, the congressman expects his political rights to be guaranteed and for his registration as a candidate not to be affected by his conviction.  

Quadri was convicted following a series of eleven posts he made on Twitter/X expressing concern that seats in Mexico’s Congress reserved for women were taken by men who identify as women, in addition to posts regarding biological reality, including in the area of women’s sports. 

Following a failed appeal to the Electoral Superior Chamber, all avenues for justice in Mexico were exhausted, requiring an appeal to the Inter-American Commission. ADF International filed a petition with the Commission in December 2022.  

The Commission now has notified the government of Mexico, which has up to four months to respond to the complaint regarding Quadri’s censorship as a human rights violation under the American Convention on Human Rights.  

What has happened to Congressman Quadri is a serious violation of his free speech rights, and will further violate his civil and political rights should he be barred from running for office on the basis of a sham conviction for ‘violence’. Quadri peacefully expressed his convictions on Twitter/X—standing up for the rights of women,” said Julio Pohl, ADF International’s lead lawyer for the case.  

Pohl added: “We are pleased that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has demanded a response from the Mexican government. This is a pivotal moment for fundamental freedoms—if elected officials are not free to debate the issues of our time, what hope is there for everyone else? The Commission should work to reach a just resolution for the congressman, paving the way for greater free speech accountability in Mexico”. 

The Inter-American Commission is one of the two bodies that make up the regional human rights adjudication system. Lengthy timeframes take a heavy toll on the service of justice, as the Quadri case shows, with more than a year having passed from the original filing date.   

International scrutiny of Mexico’s free speech violations is happening at the same time that Ireland’s parliament is considering an unprecedented “hate speech” law, with a potential prison sentence of up to 5 years. Elon Musk has pledged to both initiate and fund legal action should the law pass. 


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“Political violator against women” conviction for Twitter/X Posts 

Congressman Quadri responded to the Commission’s decision to move forward with his case, stating: “I am committed to safeguarding every Mexican’s fundamental right to speak freely. My career has been dedicated to a prosperous and free Mexico for all, which demands that our country abide by its human rights obligations. I look forward to the day when all in Mexico can share their beliefs and opinions without fear of censorship or reprimand”. 

Gabriel Quadri is a former presidential candidate and current federal congressman in Mexico, representing the opposition National Action Party. He has participated in politics since 2012.  

As of 2019, Mexico has in place a law requiring 50/50 representation of men and women in all branches of government. In the 2021 elections, two congressional seats reserved for women were given to males who identify as women. 

Quadri tweeted about the congressional seats, making the point that it is an injustice for males to take advantage of the law to gain access to political positions reserved for women. In March 2022, member of congress Salma Luevano, who identifies as a transgender woman, filed a complaint accusing Quadri of “gender based political violence” for eleven of his tweets.   

On April 21st, the Superior Chamber of the Federal Electoral Tribunal unanimously found Quadri guilty of “gender based political violence” for the tweets. 

The following measures were imposed as punishment: requirements to (i) delete the tweets, (ii) issue a public apology drafted by the Court and post a summary of the decision on Twitter for 15 days at two set times per day, (iii) complete two courses on gender-based violence and transgender violence, and (iv) be registered as a gender-based political violator for two years and nine months. 

Quadri’s last option for domestic appeal was rejected on June 22, 2022. The congressman plans to run for reelection in the next election. 

Former Mexican Congressman Rodrigo Iván Cortés also was charged and convicted for “gender based political violence” for social media posts. His case is pending before the Commission.  

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