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Canal 36 television station reports that its employees are being harassed, prevented from entering the presidential palace

(C-Libre/IFEX) - On 6 November 2009, Esdras Amado López, a journalist for the Canal 36 television station, reported that the country's de facto government, by way of the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL), is once again harassing his media outlet, while a station employee was also denied entry into the presidential palace.

López said that Canal 36 employees were at the Marriot hotel where meetings were being held to form a "reconciliation cabinet" when two individuals who said they were from CONATEL began asking them for information about the station's frequencies, saying the questioning was part of their normal practices. The Canal 36 employees refused to give them the information they requested.

López said that when inspections are carried out a notice is presented and that, in this case, no such notification was given. When the Canal 36 camera operators began filming the individuals who were asking the questions, they fled.

In a separate incident, López said the presidential palace's communications secretary, René Zepeda, refused to allow journalist Ivis Alvarado to enter the palace. Zepeda said the reason for the denial of access was that Alvarado had not been at the palace for some time and, as such, had lost his authorisation to enter. López noted that station personnel had not been at the presidential palace for some time because they had been pulled off the air and government officials were responsible for seizing their equipment.

Finally, López reported that an eight-metre long fiber optic cable that the station used at the presidential palace was cut.

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