News / Americas

HRW: Halt Censorship, Intimidation of Venezuelan Media

Opposition TV station Globovision's employees work at the main studio of the TV station in Caracas, Venezuela. (file photo)
Opposition TV station Globovision's employees work at the main studio of the TV station in Caracas, Venezuela. (file photo)
VOA News
A human rights group says Venezuela should stop the censorship and intimidation of media that challenge the government's line on President Hugo Chavez's health and inauguration. Chavez has not been seen in public or heard from since undergoing his fourth cancer surgery in Cuba on December 11.

Human Rights Watch says CONATEL - the government-controlled telecommunications agency - ordered television station Globovision on January 9 to stop airing four spots and similar transmissions criticizing the government's position about whether a presidential inauguration could take place on January 10 - the date stipulated in the Constitution - without the president's presence in Venezuela.

HRW says CONATEL justified its move against Globovision by citing Venezuelan broadcasting law prohibiting the transmission of material that "foment anxiety in the population or threaten public order."

The rights groups says CONATEL has opened an investigation into the Globovision spots that could result in sanctions.  The group says Globovision is the only remaining television station that is consistently critical of the president's policies. 

HRW said Globovision is already facing six other investigations and has received one sanction that carried a heavy fine. HRW says another fine could result in the suspension of Globovision's transmission or the revocation of its license.

Human Rights Watch said the national intelligence police searched the home of Federico Medina Ravell on January 6.  The rights group said the businessman has been repeatedly denounced on state television as the suspected author of Tweets questioning information the government has provided on President Chavez's health. 

Medina, who was not home during the search, said intelligence agents detained his wife and children for several hours and took two computers from his home. 

The attorney general's office said Medina is under investigation for "instigating terrorism in social networks."

Jose Miguel Vivanco, HRW's Americas director, said "it would be outrageous if a blogger was prosecuted on terrorism charges for questioning official information about the president's health."

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Danidanado from: Philippines
January 24, 2013 8:47 PM
Some rumors coming out of Cuba state that Chavez is already dead. Some others that he is in a vegetative state and under life support. Brazil, which has pretty close relations with Cuba, have asked Venezuela to hold new elections to prevent any violence from spreading over into it's side of the border. That would suggest that Brazil believes Chavez will not return to Venezuela in any condition to Govern, if you want to call his style of Government that. I certainly wouldn't.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexican Soldiers Face Murder Charges in 22 Deaths

Three soldiers charged with homicide in death of 22 suspected drug gang members who prosecutors allege were executed
More

Poll: Record Number of Mexicans Crime Victims in 2013

While government data shows murder rate has fallen in past 2 years, crimes such as kidnapping and extortion, which affect wider swath of the population, rise
More

OAS Asks Members to Take In Guantanamo Detainees

Organization of American States issues appeal for member countries to take in detainees from US military prison
More

Recession Looms Over Venezuela, Official Data Under Wraps

Empty store shelves, closed factory gates and idled construction projects tell their own story
More

US Judge Holds Argentina in Contempt Over Bond Payment Plan

In rare move, District Judge Thomas Griesa says country taking 'illegal' steps to evade his orders in longstanding dispute with hedge funds over defaulted debt
More

Brazil's Rousseff Extends Lead Over Silva in Elections

President Dilma Rousseff's expected victory margin over closest rival Marina Silva has surged to 9 percentage points
More