Attacks against freedom of speech in Venezuela escalate by 50% in a year
Full right to freedom of speech at no risks continues being a utopia in Venezuela, the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) remarked. It also noted that from October 7, 2011 through October 7, 2012, some 159 attacks against journalists, camerapersons, photographers, and other media crew have been reported, which means the figure has jumped 57% in a year.
According to the IPYS, the figure is the result of the authorities' refusal to take the steps suggested by countries such as France, Switzerland, Indonesia, or Australia to fully guarantee freedom of speech and remove some the existing obstacles.
During the evaluation of the aforementioned period, the authorities were given 12 recommendations to better off the situation of freedom of speech. Advices included reforming the laws that punish freedom of speech and encourage self-censorship. Such laws are, for instance, the Crime Code and the Content Law. The authorities were also advised to facilitate the access to public information, yet all suggestions were dismissed by the Government.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
As late as Tuesday, February 25, there was some visible response from Gabriela Ramírez's office. Representatives of the Office of the Ombudswoman would visit independent human rights watch groups to find what happened in connection with repression of protests. That day, they visited NGO Provea. The next day, they met with the attorneys of NGO Venezuelan Criminal Forum. They pursued specific data because -they argued- no claims of human rights violations of demonstrators had been filed with the Office of the Ombudswoman.