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Members of pro-government group assault Globovisión television crew; minister announces restrictions on official advertising for some media outlets

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF today welcomed the reaction of authorities who condemned an attack by members of the pro-government militant group "La Piedrita" on a film crew from the privately-owned Globovisión television station while they were covering a demonstration. The same group attacked the television station's headquarters on 22 September 2008. On 10 October, the militants attacked and tried to seize film equipment from the journalists during a demonstration in the 23 de Enero district of the capital Caracas, the bastion of "La Piedrita". Metropolitan police quickly intervened and the Communications and Information Minister, Andrés Izarra, publicly slammed the "political infantilism" of the militants. Interior and Justice Minister Tarek El Aissami also strongly condemned the attack.

RSF also welcomed a 12 October announcement by Izarra, providing air time on the main public channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) to opposition candidates for regional elections scheduled to take place on 23 November. Two days previously, however, the minister had announced restrictions on official advertising with "putchist" media, an accusation regularly levelled at the daily "El Nacional" and Globovisión.

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