Resolution of the 62nd General Assembly Mexico City, Mexico September 29 – October 3, 2006 WHEREAS in recent years the Inter American Press Association has issued resolutions and statements condemning the increasingly severe restrictions on freedom of speech and on the people’s right to receive information WHEREAS the current Venezuelan president’s control over all branches of government, including the judiciary, has led to the creation of new criminal laws against dissidence, court rulings imposing prior restraint on news reporting, and the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio and Television, which gives the government agency CONATEL the authority to sanction media outlets, up to and including permanent closure. WHEREAS recent months have seen a drastic increase in acts of violence against the independent media and journalists, including murders, sabotage, and assaults WHEREAS prosecutors’ statements against, and the prosecution of, independent media outlets, their executives and journalists for reporting news and expressing opinions, curtail free speech and foster self-censorship WHEREAS the Venezuelan government discriminates against independent journalists and media outlets by preventing or restricting them from covering government events, and this not only denies them the ability to practice journalism freely but also denies the people their right to receive information WHEREAS Principle 5 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: “Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to condemn the Venezuelan government’s repeated violations of the principles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding freedom of speech and the right to receive information, which are also established in Articles 57 and 58 of the Venezuelan Constitution to condemn the murders and violence, assaults, and acts of intimidation, discrimination, and harassment that are taking place in Venezuela against journalists and the independent media to reiterate that the IAPA supports Venezuelan journalists and the Venezuelan media, and that we will continue to issue appeals and pursue discussions with the Venezuelan government so that laws supporting freedom of speech and freedom of expression are upheld.