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Government supporters harass journalists during public hearing, hit two camera operators

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 21 August 2007, a group of President Hugo Chávez's supporters harassed eight journalists from a number of different media outlets while they were covering a public hearing involving opposition Congressman Óscar Pérez. The hearing was held at Caracas's Third Superior Tribunal for Administrative Disputes.

According to RCTV International reporter Iris García, the demonstrators verbally harrassed the station's news team, describing them as "fascists and terrorists who have no right to broadcast information." The president's supporters then struck the station's camera operators, Antonio Monroy and Denis Arenas. Other journalists who were targeted were Vanesa Gómez of "El Nacional" newspaper; Iván Ballesteros and Mardolei Prin, of Radio Caracas Radio; and reporters of the state-owned Radio Nacional de Venezuela and the Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias.

The journalists told IPYS that police officers were present at the court, but instead of putting a stop to the harassment they protected the demonstrators.

García added that, after the incident, the RCTV International news team was prevented from covering the hearing.

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