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Televen news crew attacked in Zulia

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On July 10, 2012 in the state of Zulia, inmates at Sabaneta jail threw stones at a Televen TV station news crew made up of journalist Jensser Morales and cameraman Walny Gonzalez. The inmates also shot at them. The incident happened in the city of Maracaibo, 700 kms west of Caracas.

Morales told IPYS-Venezuela that he had gone to the prison in his vehicle with Gonzalez. They planned to interview women as they lined up to visit their relatives inside the jail. When the interviews were over he waited for his cameraman to take some pictures, when the inmates climbed to the roof of the jail and started to throw rocks at them. The rocks hit several vehicles, including Morales's.

“When I heard the stones falling I looked up and they yelled at us saying 'this is for you, journalists' ”. Morales got into his car, leaned over the passenger seat and moved blindly in reverse. “At that point they started to shoot at us”. Morales heard gunfire and drove off without being able to pick up his colleague. Gonzalez was helped by a news crew from a local newspaper that was in the area.

The crew went unharmed, yet both of them stated they would not report on the jail crisis unless they were given guarantees from the authorities. Journalists have condemned the incident, but no official statement from the authorities has been issued.

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