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IAPA protests intimidation of journalist through Facebook

(IAPA/IFEX) - Miami, February 10, 2011 - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned intimidation and threats made against a Uruguayan journalist by retired military officers via the Facebook social network, saying the act amounted to "intolerant attitudes and forces from the past when those in power did not respect the law, the Constitution and, much less, freedom of expression".

In a February 4 article, "Caras y Caretas" reporter Roger Rodríguez, known as a specialist in investigative reporting of human rights violations, identified retired military officers who founded an organization called "Foro de Libertad y Concordia" (Freedom and Harmony Forum) to defend fellow officers on trial for torture and murder from 1973 to 1985.

After the report was published the military organization posted insults on its Facebook page aimed at Rodríguez, along with his personal details, identification card, date of birth, telephone number, home address and a map showing exactly where he lived.

IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper "Siglo 21", described the threats as "very serious".

Claudio Paolillo, co-chairman of the IAPA Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Uruguayan weekly news magazine "Búsqueda", called on authorities to "guarantee the physical safety of the journalist and his family, investigate the acts of intimidation and promptly put an end to them" so that "this endorsement of criminal acts doesn't incite those who resort to violence".

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