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Cuba and Venezuela called on to stop persecution of journalists

From Paris, IAPA and other international organizations urge Latin American governments to show greater respect for press freedom

(IAPA/IFEX) - Miami (June 4, 2009) - The Global Coordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organizations, from its semi-annual meeting in Paris, held a thorough discussion on the lack of freedom of the press in several countries, and at the same time urged the Venezuelan government to halt its attacks on the media and the Cuban government to free the more than 20 imprisoned independent journalists.

The Global Coordinating Committee, which is composed of seven organizations devoted to defending press freedom worldwide, including IAPA, met May 30th in Paris for its regular semi-annual meeting to review joint initiatives and strategies.

Meeting on that date were representatives from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Inter American Press Association, the International Association of Broadcasting, the International Press Institute, the World Association of Newspapers, and the World Press Freedom Committee. Representing the IAPA was its International Affairs Committee President, Jorge Canahuati, director of La Prensa, San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Full texts of the Venezuela and Cuba Resolutions released after the meeting, follow:

Venezuela

(. . . )

The Global Coordinating Committee resolves:

To strongly condemn the crimes, attacks and harassment against the media, their journalists and directors which result in attacks on Freedom of Expression in Venezuela

To demand the return of Radio Caracas Television's over-the-air signal and of the facilities illegally seized from that channel

To call upon the Council of the Organization of American States to take the necessary measures for the restoration of Freedom of Expression in Venezuela, mainly the observance of the sentences issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and of the precautionary measures in favor of journalists, workers and directors of Radio Caracas Television and Globovisión

To denounce the ongoing practice of the use of official advertising as a means for the government of President Chávez to apply pressure on independent media.

Cuba

(. . .)

The Global Coordinating Committee resolves:

To demand the unconditional release of the imprisoned journalists and recognition by the government of the independent practice of the profession

To demand an end to the repressive acts against independent journalists and their families

To call upon the Cuban government to allow the immediate departure of the journalists who have received visas to emigrate from the country

To roundly condemn the intensification of governmental control over the use of the Internet and the hampering of access to the blogs produced from Cuba

To demand of the government acceptable treatment of the foreign correspondents who carry out their work in Cuba.

To read the full text, see: http://www.sipiapa.com/v4/index.php?page=cont_comunicados&seccion=detalles&idioma=us&id=4198

Inter American Press Association
Committee to Protect Journalists
International Press Institute
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
World Press Freedom Committee

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