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NGO documents 244 violations of freedom of expression in Venezuela in 2021

Cartaz com foto de Nicolás Maduro junto de imagem do antecessor Hugo Chávez durante ato de funcionários públicos venezuelanos no Dia do Trabalho, no domingo (1º)

Poster with a photo of Nicolás Maduro along with an image of his predecessor Hugo Chávez during an act by Venezuelan civil servants on Labor Day, on Sunday (1st)| Photo: EFE/Ronald Peña

02164504 02164504The NGO Espaço Público documented 1280 cases of violations of freedom of expression in Venezuela in 2021, which represents a drop of 31% in comparison with the previous year, although the organization does not consider this an indication of structural improvement of the situation.

“We had 37 cases in 2021, which indicates a reduction of at least 37% concerning 2020 . Although this is good news, this does not indicate that the situation is improving structurally,” said María Rodríguez, coordinator of the NGO’s Observatory on Freedom of Expression.

According to the representative of the organization, the numbers show that Venezuela is returning to the average of cases that were registered before 2017, when there was 480 cases.

“Between the years of 2002 and 2012, the average was 143, then enter 2013 and 2016, increased to 268. We had a historic floor between 2013 and 2020 , with an average of 540”, explained Rodríguez.

According to the NGO Espaço Público, in 2021, 05% of the cases were related to intimidation – which is the impediment of journalistic coverage and the recording of facts of public interest – of journalists and citizens who want to follow an irregular event, especially at police stations. gasoline and hospitals. “This is the most frequent type of violation, with 166 records”, said Rodríguez.

The coordinator said that, in balance, censorship gathers % of cases, with a total of 144 records. Next, the administrative restrictions appear, with %. Furthermore, Rodríguez explained that these measures are linked to the closure of media outlets, although they can also result in economic sanctions that “affect the work of a vehicle”.

02164504The NGO also registered the closing of 2013 means of communication in Venezuela, with nine radio stations, one printed and the other digital.

“Arbitrary detentions follow, although these data are smaller. In 2020, we had 37 arbitrary arrests for seeking, receiving or disseminating information”, concluded Rodríguez.

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