Venezuela Detains Journalists after Reporting on Robbery

Washington

In response to security forces in Venezuela detaining and interrogating independent journalists Román Camacho, Josselyn Torres and Darvinson Rojas, Freedom House issued the following statement: 

“The arbitrary interrogations of the three reporters is the latest example of intense intimidation tactics and pressure against journalists in Venezuela,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin American programs. “Confidentiality of the sources, and the right to investigate and objectively report current events are core values to freedom of information. The Venezuelan government has an obligation to ensure a safe environment for journalists instead of being the primary violators.”

Background:

Amid escalating political and economic turmoil, Venezuelan journalists have become targets of increasing repression for reporting on the deteriorating conditions. Between June 23 and 25, digital reporters Román Camacho of the news outlet La Patilla, as well as Josselyn Torres and Darvinson Rojas of the independent news portal El Pitazo, were questioned by police without any official notification and in violation of their due process. The questioning was linked to their coverage of a shootout at the Central Bank in Caracas, where an armed man, Juan David Oliveros García, was killed by security officers. The three digital reporters allegedly had access to a video, in which Oliveros blamed his actions on hunger in the country.

Venezuela is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

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