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July 2018

Media Monitoring Report for Venezuela
Posted on July 1, 2018

Compiled by Guillermo Glujovsky

  1. Overview
  2. Current situation
  3. Freedom of expression

1. Overview
  • Venezuela remained in a state of emergency, repeatedly extended since January 2016.
  • A National Constituent Assembly was elected without the participation of the opposition. 
  • Security forces continued to use excessive and undue force to disperse protests. 
  • Hundreds of people were arbitrarily detained. There were many reports of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual violence against demonstrators.
  • The judicial system continued to be used to silence dissidents, including using military jurisdiction to prosecute civilians.
  • Human rights defenders were harassed, intimidated and subject to raids. The number of Venezuelans seeking asylum in other countries increased.
Source: THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2017/18

2. Current situation 
  • Arbitrary detentions.
  • Extrajudicial killings.
  • Extreme poverty (severe shortage of food and basic medicines). 
  • More than 1.5 million Venezuelans have fled the country, for reasons including political persecution, violence, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis. As a result, 2,000 percent increase in asylum applications has been recorded across Latin America since 2014, and hundreds of thousands remain in an irregular situation, which increases their vulnerability.
  • One Venezuelan mother interviewed by OHCHR (The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) said: “I have a little baby that cries and cries because I can´t feed her. The baby’s milk formula costs 3 million Bolivars and my husband only makes 1.2 million a month. (…) My neighbours told me that if I don’t vote for the Government they will take the food, the cash bonus and my house from me. They control the electoral authority, so they know for which party you vote.”
Source:
  • Human Rights Watch
  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

3. Freedom of expression

The Office of the Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed concern about :

  • The closure of 50 radio stations by the National Telecommunications Commission.
  • Other media outlets also faced the threat of closure, despite a 2015 ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights declaring that such closures violated freedom of expression. 
  • Anti-government protesters and some opposition leaders were accused by the government of being a threat to national security.
  • The government ordered the removal of some foreign news channels including CNN, RCN and CARACOL from national television cable operators.
  • In September, journalists from the online news and research portal Armando.Info were threatened by unidentified actors for their investigations into cases of administrative corruption.
Source: THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2017/18
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