News

February 1, 2019

UN asked to intercede in arrests of foreign journalists, censorship in Venezuela

©Luis ROBAYO / AFP
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the United Nations secretary-general to intercede as quickly as possible with President Nicolás Maduro following the arrests of eight foreign journalists since 25 January and their subsequent illegal detention.

The foreign journalists, who had come to cover anti-Maduro demonstrations in Venezuela’s largest cities, were arrested by the police, the General Directorate for Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM), the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and the presidential guard.

 

The censorship of independent and international media is becoming more and more blatant and disturbing in Venezuela and has intensified dramatically since the start of the year.

 

Yesterday (31 January), RSF asked UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres to intercede as a matter of urgency with President Maduro to put a stop to these practices.

 

Those who have been the victims of arrests since 25 January are the Brazilian journalist Rodrigo Lopes (of RBS), Colombian journalists Leonardo Muñoz and Maurén Barriga Vargas (of the Spanish news agency EFE), Spanish journalist Gonzalo Domínguez Loeda (EFE), French journalists Pierre Caillé and Baptiste des Monstiers (TF1) and Chilean journalists Rodrigo Pérez and Gonzalo Barahona (TVN).

 

After been place in provisional detention, they were interrogated and then released. Some were taken to Maiquetía international airport and placed on flights back to their respective countries.

 

Venezuela is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.