57th General Assembly Washington, DC October 12 – 16, 2001 VENEZUELA WHEREAS the ongoing tendency of the Venezuelan government to restrict the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information is of an unprecedented seriousness WHEREAS added now to the pressure placed upon the print media is similar action against television stations, with the aim of coercing them into reporting along officials lines, and there has also continued a systemic presidential policy of inciting public and collective hatred of the media, journalists, editors and publishers WHEREAS the Venezuelan Supreme Court issued an astonishing ruling known, as 1013, which restricts the exercise of freedom of expression and the right to information and manipulates the right of reply provided for under Venezuela’s Constitution, while giving the president the privilege not to grant said alleged right of reply in the official media that he uses for his programs, but on the other hand requiring private news media to grant it to the government and its officials, which amounts to open censorship WHEREAS incitement to hatred by the Venezuela head of state, added to the afore-mentioned ruling, has the sole aim of producing fear and self-censorship in the news media, which moreover is clearly evident from the latest proposal of the president of the National Assembly, passed by the government majority, coercing media owners into establishing a code of ethics for the exercise of their freedoms, in whose absence a press law would be enacted THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to condemn the government of Venezuela for the use it makes of a legal system that responds to its political objectives and for the abusive utilization of the official news media to intimidate the private media, expose their journalists, editors or publishers to public contempt or hatred and provoke, in the first instance, self-censorship in the country, which is contrary to democratic practice and the fundamental freedoms of human beings.