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Journalist berated on Twitter after tweeting about elections in Venezuela

On December 8, 2013, journalist Lisseth Boon, who works for Últimas Noticias, a paper with nationwide circulation, was subjected to intimidation and was berated by Twitter user Julio Soto (@juliocesarsotoa), after she tweeted a photograph taken from command headquarters of the ruling party Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV), located in the Teatro Principal, in downtown Caracas, when she was covering the municipal elections which had taken place that day in Venezuela.

The tweet was immediately retweeted on the Últimas Noticias Twitter account, as is their usual procedure, and a few minutes later Soto wrote nine messages aimed at Diosdado Cabello, the president of the National Assembly and vice-president of the PSUV, to tell him that the journalist was inside the premises and had published the photograph.

"@dcabellor WATCH OUT THIS PHOTO WAS SENT FROM INSIDE THE MUNICIPAL THEATER BY A SQUALID Lisseth Boon @boonbar", reads the message from @juliocesarsotoa. “Escuálida/escuálido” was a term used by deceased President Hugo Chávez to offend the militants of the opposition party. It is repeatedly used by the supporters of the head of state.

Soto identifies himself on his profile as an attorney and gives the following description: “Chavista and Revolutionary. DO NOT FOLLOW ME IF YOU ARE NOT REAL RADICAL REVOLUTIONARIES”. He has more than 6 thousand followers.

Boon told IPYS-Venezuela, “At that moment I was doing my job at the Teatro Principal, where the press conference was being held with Diosdado Cabello and other spokespersons”. The photograph was part of a story to be published on the coverage of the election.

The journalist remained in the Teatro Municipal until 1:00 a.m. covering the municipal elections. Boon said she supposed @juliocesarsotoa may have been a citizen in charge of monitoring social networks.

The tweet in which Soto mentions Boon is of concern since it constitutes an act of intimidation and exposure to public derision and mockery of a journalist for doing her job of informing on public issues.

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