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Llanovisión television station owner suspends news programme after coverage of RCTV case

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 23 May 2007, regional UHF channel Llanovisión's news programme, "La Entrevista de Hoy", was suspended after it commented on the Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV) case. The programme was hosted by sociologist Laure Nicotra and was broadcast in the state of Barinas, southern Venezuela.

Nicotra said that the measure was the result of an interview with lawyer Pedro Gonzáles, broadcast on 22 May, about the government's decision not to renew RCTV's concession. The journalist received a written note from the station's administration, while the programme was being broadcast, ordering her to suspend the interview. She did not comply.

The following day, the broadcast of the programme was halted 15 minutes after it started. According to Nicotra, the station's owner, Douglas Valero, stormed into the recording studio and ordered the programme be suspended, saying that he was the person who determined what could be said on his television station and that talking about RCTV was forbidden.

Nicotra has not yet received an official explanation about the motives for cancelling her programme or about her work situation.

IPYS got in touch with Llanovisión's directors but they refused to say anything about the subject.

IPYS expresses its concern about this case of censorship which violates the rights to freedom of expression and information ratified by articles 57, 58 and 108 of the Constitution.

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