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Journalists shoved by police, prevented from covering eviction action in Caracas

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 8 May 2008, municipal police from the municipality of Libertador, in Caracas, roughly handled Ávila TV journalist Lormely Saldaña and camera operator Ralphy Aldaña. They also detained David Sivira, a security agent for the television station, who was accompanying the journalists as their assignment was considered risky. The incident took place when the journalists tried to cover the eviction by police of a group of tenants from a building in the capital's San Bernandino area

Salismey told IPYS that the police sealed off the area, preventing the media from approaching the scene. The Ávila TV journalists managed to access the scene via a different route. When discovered by the police, the journalists were told to leave and an officer covered the lens of the video camera. The police agents then disconnected the microphone cable and pushed the reporters. One of the agents held the camera operator's arms back to stop him from filming.

Sivira was detained even though he identified himself as staff of the media outlet, and showed his station ID. He was released a few hours later.

This is the second case in less than a month in which journalists working for Ávila TV station have been restricted in their work. The station receives support from the Caracas city council and has a pro-government editorial line.

For further information on prior interference with Ávila TV, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/93310

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