Jorge Fascetto, a member of the Inter-American Press Association
(IAPA) and representative of Argentinean Diario Popular newspaper,
Friday claimed that journalism in Venezuela is exercised under
He stressed that the organization is implementing new monitoring mechanisms to oversee and assess the news media situation in countries facing the same issues as Venezuela.
"We did not use to visit the countries. We did not visit the countries lacking press freedom. But now we have changed our minds. We are visiting the countries facing problems, in order to support the countries where persecutions are taking place, such as Venezuela. In Venezuela, we witnessed the closure of a TV channel not long ago, as well as continued persecution against reporters," Fascetto stated.
Reference was made to private TV network RCTV. Founded in 1953, RCTV was forced to shut down operations last May 27, when the Venezuelan government refused to renew its broadcast license.
"There is a President (Hugo Chávez) who is persistently attacking journalism and harassing and insulting the press. Journalism here is faced with serious restrictions, and when journalism is exercised under serious restrictions there is no press freedom," he added.
He stressed that the IAPA can claim the moral ground to talk to any government and ask whether it is respecting or disrespecting freedom of expression.
"When the IAPA speaks, governments listen. When the IAPA files a complaint with a government, the government has the moral obligation to reply."
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."