Freedom for Photojournalist in Venezuela

Media workers gathered outside the courthouse in Caracas on Friday, 7 March, demanding full freedom of the Italian photojournalist, , who was illegally arrested by the National Guard on Friday night in Altamira. 

"It is not a crime to show and much less is a crime the media coverage of a demonstration. And that's what Francesca Commissari was doing yesterday in the Plaza Altamira when she was arrested by the GNB" said Marco Ruiz, general secretary of the National Union of Press Workers (SNTP).

The union leader demanded full liberty to the Italian journalist, and that her photographic equipment that was stripped at the time of his arrest is returned.

Ruiz warned that "the pattern of repeated attacks now is against international correspondents and foreign journalists in the country. There is also an obvious maneuver to silence the international press, as they have done with the national media," he said .

He charged that "the subjection of journalists to the prosecution is an escalation within the impoundment, the attack and the infringement of the right to freedom of expression and information of the Venezuelans."

The SNTP records that from 12 to 28 February, 76 journalists have been victims of repression during the coverage of the protests held in Venezuela.

Among them are  assaults against AFP and AP agencies and international media as Network News (Colombia), CNN International, CNN in Spanish, Zoom News (Spain) , SBT (Brasil), Univision, Telemundo, Mega TV (Chile), ATV (Peru) , DW (Germany) , 24 Abruzzo (Italy) and Caracol TV (Colombia) .

In its report, the SNTP counted 21 journalists detained. In addition, 58 reports of assaults and 17 teams of communicators theft by security agencies of the Venezuelan state and armed civilians.

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