An Ecuadorean journalist accused of libeling President Rafael Correa has fled the country because he says he fears for his safety.

Emilio Palacio issued a letter from Miami on Sunday explaining that he fled because of new pressures from what he called "the dictatorship."

In July, a court sentenced Palacios and three executives of the newspaper Universo to three years in prison and $42 million in fines for libeling the president. They are appealing.

Palacios flee comes weeks after he published a Youtube video (Shown Below) in August that appears to show the President of Ecuador stating to his officers to take control of a protest by striking police officers and that those responsible should get "a shot in the chest for treason! Those who are we doing this are traitors to the Fatherland."

The alleged pressures include a new criminal charge for referring to a state television journalist as a fascist. Palacios says that "one would have to be blind not to understand that they want me behind bars."

Correa denies trying to quash freedom of the press, saying he is only demanding fair reporting.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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