New York, May 5, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the criminal defamation conviction of Venezuelan journalist Henry Crespo, who was handed an 18-month suspended jail term after reporting on government corruption. Crespo, a reporter for the Caracas-based weekly Las Verdades de Miguel, was sentenced by the Caracas Eighteenth Tribunal on Wednesday.
The suit was brought in January 2005 by the governor of the state of Guárico, Eduardo Manuitt. Crespo told CPJ the charges followed two articles that month which denounced government corruption and human rights violations in Guárico. Crespo said he would appeal.
Miguel Salazar, editor and columnist with Las Verdades de Miguel, was also charged with criminal defamation by Manuitt over a column that alleged that the governor had hired gunmen to murder him. José López, director of Las Verdades de Miguel, told CPJ that Manuitt had publicly denied all involvement in the plot to murder Salazar at the journalist’s trial last month. Salazar’s trial began on April 19, and a verdict is expected soon, the editor told CPJ.
“We condemn the conviction of journalist Henry Crespo,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “For a Venezuelan public official to criminally prosecute a journalist for criticizing his conduct in office is a serious abuse of power that sends a chilling message to all Venezuelan journalists.”
Laws that criminalize speech that does not incite violence are incompatible with the right to free expression as established under Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights, which Venezuela has ratified.
Bogotá, Colombia, May 2, 2017--Venezuelan authorities should immediately release Marcos Vergara and Deivis Valera, production assistants for the online media platform VivoPlay, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The two were taken into the custody of the Venezuelan National Guard while covering a protest last night, according to...
Journalists covering Venezuela protests harassed, attacked, and news websites blocked
April 12, 2017 10:36 AM ET
New York, April 12, 2017--Venezuelan authorities should ensure that journalists can cover protests safely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Several reporters have been detained, injured, or had equipment seized while covering ongoing protests over a Supreme Court ruling to strip the opposition-led National Assembly of its lawmaking...
Journalists covering Venezuela tension face violence, obstruction
October 27, 2016 5:46 PM ET
Bogotá, Colombia, October 27, 2016--Journalists trying to cover rising political tensions in Venezuela have been obstructed and have come under attack, including by Venezuelan security forces and immigration officials, according to press freedom groups and news reports....
Venezuelan journalist arrested after reporting on protest
September 7, 2016 2:35 PM ET
Bogotá, Colombia, September 7, 2016--Venezuelan authorities should immediately release online and radio journalist Braulio Jatar Alonso, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Domestic intelligence officers detained Jatar on September 3, a day after he reported on an anti-government protest....