Reporters Without Borders showed concern about the Venezuelan
Government threat not to renew the broadcasting license to
privately-owned TV channel Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV),
following Minister of Communication and Information Willian
Lara's announcement that the TV network's future would be
subject to referendum.
In a press release, RSF said: "If RCTV's license is withdrawn because it is an opposition network, then it is clearly a violation of editorial diversity."
The international organization asked the Venezuelan Government to reconsider its position on RCTV as, "it is not the role of a news media to govern a country so its future should not depend on the outcome of a referendum." RSF also wondered why should the development of community media, encouraged by the government, threaten the existence of commercial media.
Lara announced last December 11th that the renewal of RCTV's license would be put to a referendum. His remarks came following a meeting with representatives of alternative media.
Recently, President Hugo Chávez said he has questions on whether he would renew or not RCTV's broadcasting license, which expires in March 2007.
LOPEZ CASE Lilian Tintori, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, met on Friday with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
HUMAN RIGHTS Pictures published on Thursday show the national coordinator of opposition Voluntad Popular party Leopoldo López and former mayor of San Cristóbal, Táchira state, Daniel Ceballos calling for their own release and that of all the political prisoners in Venezuela, pursuant to a ruling issued by the United Nations Organization last October 8.
LOPEZ'S CASE Tanzanian lawyer Roland Adjovi, one of the five members of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, noted that the resolution urging Venezuela to release opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos "is binding upon the government," and added that the authorities had to "observe the group's decision."