62 Attacks against journalists and press in the first month of quarantine in Venezuela

Since the beginning of the national alert decree on March 13th until April 15th, 18 arbitrary detentions of press workers were registered, according to Edgar Cardenas, spokesman of the National College of Journalists.

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The National College of Journalists in Venezuela (CNP in Spanish) pointed out 62 cases of aggression against the press by regime officials registered during the first month of the social quarantine decreed by the Nicolas Maduro regime.

Edgar Cardenas, secretary-general of the CNP, indicated that in the second biweekly report made by the organization, there were 28 attacks.

In this report, corresponding to the first 15 days of April, the CNP’s Observatory for Monitoring Attacks on Journalists and Media recorded seven arbitrary arrests, the closure of a radio station and blocking of an information portal, one case of equipment confiscation, two of information delete as well as seven reports of threats and four of intimidation of journalists.

Cardenas pointed out that 11 journalists were arrested in March, bringing the total number of journalists arrested arbitrarily, and in many cases together with their families, to 18.

He mentioned the cases of journalist Arnaldo Sumoza, accused of “disturbing public order” for covering a protest by neighbors over the lack of water in El Sombrero, Guarico state, and sentenced by the courts to a cautionary regime which includes regular and mandatory court visits.

Another case is the detention of the secretary of the Apure-Amazonas section of the CNP, Eduardo Galindo Peña, who has been detained with his wife and brother since April 15 at the headquarters of the National Guard’s Anti-Extortion and Kidnapping Command.

“The attacks on journalists and the harassment of the media represent the government’s attempts to impose censorship, and criminalize opinion to establish information silence,” said Cardenas.

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