Venezuela I

Resolution of the Midyear Meeting Quito, Ecuador WHEREAS that the Inter American Press Association, in resolutions in its 2004 and 2005 assemblies drew attention to the serious and increasing restrictions on freedom of expression, right to information and exercise of journalism implicit in the new legal framework promoted and approved by the regime that governs Venezuela WHEREAS that at the request of Venezuela´s Attorney General, based on sentence 1942 of the Constitutional Court, a judge ordered the application of prior censorship on information, and writs of protection filed against this decision were denied WHEREAS that attacks, economic pressures and threats against independent media have intensified in a dangerous manner WHEREAS that the application of the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television has already generated the “necessary administrative measures” to penalize several private radio stations, taking regular radio programs off the air, in addition to frequent and mandatory simultaneous broadcasting of official programs, which mark the beginning of an escalation of increased penalties and fines imposed by this law, including the revocation of radio frequencies and the closure of radio stations WHEREAS that many journalists have been assaulted while performing their job, and that the government has arrested, imprisoned, persecuted and threatened others WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, pressure, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly” THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to condemn the violation of Articles 57 and 58 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in regards to freedom of expression and the right to information on the part of the regime that governs this nation to reject the attacks and acts of intimidation by the government of Venezuela against independent media and journalists to send an IAPA Mission to Venezuela to investigate the present situation of freedom of expression and information there.