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Journalists impeded in attempts to cover Venezuelan president's visit to Paraguay

(SPP/IFEX) - On 18 August 2008, the SPP filed a complaint with the Venezuelan embassy in Asunción about incidents that took place on 16 August in San Pedro del Ykuamandyjú in which several journalists were prevented from carrying out their work.

Aníbal Emery, a journalist with Radio Ñandutí radio station in Asunción, said he was prevented from entering several sites where he intended to cover an event involving Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Emery noted that several other journalists were also prevented from covering the events and that a photojournalist from the daily "ABC Color" fell onto the ground when shoved forcefully by one of President Chávez's bodyguards.

The SPP delivered a letter to the Venezuelan Embassy in Asunción, addressed to Ambassador Nora Uribe, calling for journalists to be allowed to carry out their work in future events involving the Venezuelan authorities. The organisation also expressed its concern about the unusual and exaggerated presence of Venezuelan military at the events.

The SPP's board of directors expresses its support for Emery and all other journalists who have been prevented from carrying out their work.

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