MEDIA GROUPS CRITICISE VENEZUELAN RULING

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) called the Venezuelan
Supreme Court’s decision to seize the assets of the TV station Globivisión
for not paying a fee in 2011 a “blatant attack on press freedom.” The World
Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) also
criticized the Supreme Court’s June 28th decision, saying it was an election-
period political maneuver to repress the main news outlets that oppose the
government, according to Globovisión.

 

On Friday, June 29, Globovisión payed the roughly $5.6 million fee to avoid the
court order. The fine wasimposed by the National Telecommunications
Commission (Conatel in Spanish), which accused Globovisión of being biased and
sensationalist during the coverage of a prison rebellion in June 2011.

In a press release published on June 29, IAPA reiterated that the fine imposed on
Globovisión is “anexcuse for censoring an independent news outlet” that has
credibility with the public.

WAN-IFRA also warned, on Monday July 2, about the deterioration of Venezuelan
press freedom reflected in the court’s decision about the TV station. The
organization had already expressed concern with the situation of independent news
media in the country in relation to the upcoming presidential elections.

Likewise, Reporters Without Borders said the fee imposed on Globovisión was
a very dangerous precedent for freedom of information, reported El Nacional.
According to Reporters Without Borders, the sanction imposed by the Venezuelan
court was disproportionate and impacts the survival of the TV station.

After the Venezuelan court’s decision, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Freedom of
Expression, Frank La Rue, characterized the situation as electoral censorship,
reported 6to Poder. The National Journalists Union of Venezuela also condemned

 

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