Dozens of free expression violations in Venezuela in mid-2016

Expression

The Instituto de Prensa y Sociedad, a local civil society group, reported 39 cases of attacks on the freedom of expression in Venezuela between mid-June and mid-August. Attacks included harassment, damage to media infrastructure, confiscation of reporters material and arrests of journalists. On 15th August, members of the National Intelligence Service forced a reporter covering a protest in the city of Acarigua to delete photos from his phone. Three days earlier, reporter Luis Torres was physically attacked while covering a protest on the premises of a hospital.

On 18th August, the Colegio Nacional de Periodistas released a statement in which they condemned the arrest of journalists Andreina Flores and Jorge Pérez by the National Security Forces in the country’s capital Caracas. The two had been arrested while shooting footage on a public park.

Peaceful Assembly

Venezuelans continue to gather in public to express their anger at the shortage of basic goods in the country, with security forces frequently using excessive force to disperse these protests. On 21st July, the National Assembly approved a statement condemning this security force repression and called for an end to human rights violations and the obstruction of people's constitutional right to protest.