Tag Archives: Journalist

Philippines Journalist Maria Ressa Arrested Again

Philippines Journalist Maria Ressa Arrested AgainAcclaimed Philippine journalist Maria Ressa was arrested at Manila’s airport Friday for allegedly violating a ban on foreign media ownership, the latest legal backlash to sting the longtime critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.



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Palestinian journalist wins appeal over Gaza graft report

Palestinian journalist wins appeal over Gaza graft reportA Palestinian journalist was acquitted on appeal over an investigative report about corruption in the Gaza Strip Monday, according to Amnesty International and a campaign group. In a 2016 report for Al-Araby TV, Hajar Harb alleged that doctors were writing false medical reports to let people leave Gaza for treatment, one of the few reasons Israel allows Palestinians out of the blockaded strip run by Hamas. The appeals court in Gaza “acquitted journalist Hajar Harb of all charges and closed her file,” he said.



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Venezuela: prominent journalist taken by intelligence service

Venezuela: prominent journalist taken by intelligence serviceLuis Carlos Díaz, who was charged with inciting violence and ordered not to leave the country, was released late on TuesdayVenezuela’s National Press Workers Union said agents raided Luis Carlos Díaz’s home shortly before dawn, seizing computers as the handcuffed journalist looked on. Photograph: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty ImagesA prominent Venezuelan journalist who had been reporting on the country’s escalating political crisis and electricity blackout out has been seized by secret police, sparking international condemnation.Luis Carlos Díaz went missing at about 5.30pm on Monday after leaving the radio station where he worked in the capital, Caracas.A social media hunt ensued with Twitter users demanding ~~~~ DóndeEstáLuisCarlos or ~~~~ WhereIsLuisCarlos.Fellow journalists confirmed Díaz had been taken by members of Venezuela’s intelligence service, Sebin.He was charged with inciting violence and released late on Tuesday. A judge ordered him not to leave the country and prohibited him from making public statements.Venezuela’s National Press Workers Union said agents raided Díaz’s home shortly before dawn, seizing computers and pen drives as the handcuffed journalist looked on.Díaz was reportedly held in the notorious El Helicoide political prison.Luz Mely Reyes, an internationally acclaimed Venezuelan journalist, told the Guardian her colleague’s detention was part of an escalating war on the press being waged by the country’s embattled leader, Nicolás Maduro.Maduro is fighting for his political life after an audacious challenge from a young opposition leader called Juan Guaidó, who most western governments now recognize as Venezuela’s rightful interim president.“I think one of the things [Maduro] is trying to achieve is to intimidate [journalists] and ensure the stories about what is going on in Venezuela are not told,” Reyes said. “Repression against the press has been growing.”Last week, one day before much of Venezuela was paralyzed by a massive power cut, an American freelance journalist who had worked for the Daily Telegraph was deported after being seized at his home in Caracas. A rightwing German journalist, Billy Six, has reportedly been held in El Helicoide since being detained on suspicion of espionage last year.“It is just a joke,” his father, Edward Six, told the Guardian in a recent interview. “Journalism is not a crime.”Díaz’s detention – which authorities have yet to explain – triggered condemnation in and outside of Venezuela, with Guaidó denouncing Maduro’s “persecution” of journalists.The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet tweeted that she was “deeply worried” by the detention of Díaz, adding that UN officials in Caracas had urgently requested access to him.During a brief conversation in the early hours of Tuesday, Díaz reportedly told Naky Soto, his journalist wife, he had been detained near the Korean embassy in Caracas while riding his bicycle home. Agents said he was suspected of “IT offenses”.Last Friday, Maduro’s second-in-command, Diosdado Cabello, published a conspiratorial video on Twitter insinuating Díaz was part of a “rancid” rightwing US-backed plot to destroy Venezuela’s electricity network.Reyes said she feared Díaz’s detention would not be the last, as the political situation in Venezuela deteriorated. “This is not a game – this is a very serious situation that puts us on alert.”



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Venezuelan Police Arrest Prominent Journalist as He Cycles Home

Venezuelan Police Arrest Prominent Journalist as He Cycles HomeThe arrest is an escalation of President Nicolas Maduro’s aggressive attempts to silence and intimidate the press, which include the recent temporary detentions of Univision journalist Jorge Ramos and U.S. freelance reporter Cody Weddle, deported last week. Diaz was grabbed by intelligence police while biking home from the Union Radio network, according to his wife.



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US condemns arrest of journalist Cody Weddle in Venezuela

US condemns arrest of journalist Cody Weddle in VenezuelaThe United States has condemned the arrest of an American journalist, Cody Weddle, who was seized by Venezuelan military intelligence in an early morning raid on his Caracas home. Agents of DGCIM, the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence, detained Weddle and his Venezuelan assistant Carlos Camacho at around 8am local time on Wednesday, a Venezuelan press union said.  After being held for 12 hours at DGCIM's headquarters, Weddle was taken to Caracas airport for deportation, while Camacho was released. The arrest further stoked tensions between the government of Nicolas Maduro and the US, which along with more than 50 other countries has recognised National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president. On Wednesday, the US State Department demanded Weddle be immediately released "unharmed", adding that Mr Maduro "prefers to stifle the truth rather than face it". Weddle, a freelance journalist who has lived in Caracas since 2014, has contributed to The Daily Telegraph, with his last article published on February 20. He has also worked for the Miami Herald, ABC, CBC and South Florida TV station WPLG Local 10, among others. Telemundo journalist is kidnapped for six hours and robbed by armed men while covering the detention of Univision journalist Jorge Ramos -> t.co/xKNuoGXOgE— Cody Weddle (@coweddle) February 26, 2019 Witnesses to the raids said the pair had been arrested on orders signed by a military tribunal and accused of espionage and treason, the National Press Workers Union (SNTP) reported. Weddle's computer and other work equipment were also seized. US senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida expressed outrage at the detention, Mr Scott saying the US would “not stand for this intimidation”. The director of the US-based Human Rights Watch, Jose Miguel Vivanco, said it was "very worrying", adding that the "desperate regime" of Mr Maduro was doing "the only thing it knows how to do: repress and censor".   Luis Almagro, secretary-general of the Organisation of American States, castigated the "oppressive usurper regime of Venezuela”, calling for an “end to the intimidation and censorship" of journalists in the country.  Venezuelan security forces have detained 49 reporters, some of them briefly, so far this year, according to Espacio Publico, a press monitoring organisation. The group is investigating the circumstances of Weddle's detention but had yet to receive any explanation from authorities, a representative told The Telegraph. Soldiers unleash tear gas during trouble at Venezuela border, in pictures Analysts warned that the arrest could draw a forceful response from the US, which has raised the prospect of military intervention and yesterday revoked 77 visas of individuals linked to the Maduro government. "Given the current state of relations between the US and Venezuela, having military intelligence arrest a US citizen…. seems like unnecessary provocation", said Phil Gunsion of the NGO Crisis Group. Further inflaming the international crisis, Venezuela yesterday ordered the German ambassador, Daniel Kriener, to leave the country within 48 hours, accusing him of  “recurrent acts of interference" in the country's internal affairs.  The move sets up a three-way diplomatic standoff between the Maduro regime, Mr Guaidó, and Berlin. Heiko Maas, the German minister for foreign affairs, said Europe's support for Mr Guaidó was "unbreakable" and said the decision would "escalate the situation". Venezuela | Read more Mr Guaidó described the order as a "threat" against Germany and insisted Mr Kriener should stay in his post. Mr Kriener was one of 13 ambassadors who went to Caracas’s airport to greet Mr Guaidó as he returned on Monday under threat of arrest, raising the prospect that the expulsion of other envoys could follow. In a bid to entrench his leadership, Mr Guaidó has this week nominated his own envoys to several of the countries that recognise him, including to Germany, which has said it is studying the request. He has also reached out to public sector workers, appealing them to abandon the government which has long demanded their unwavering support.



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Venezuelan authorities release detained US journalist

Venezuelan authorities release detained US journalistA US journalist who was detained for more than 12 hours by Venezuelan security services was released Wednesday after more than 12 hours in custody, one of the networks he worked for reported. Cody Weddle, who worked in Venezuela for several years as a correspondent for a variety of US media, “has been released after being detained by Venezuelan authorities,” Miami’s WPLG Local 10 News said on Twitter. Venezuela’s National Union of Press Workers, known by its Spanish acronym SNTP, added he had been taken to Caracas’ Simon Bolivar International Airport where he would be deported.



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Venezuela arrests American journalist as U.S. pledges wider sanctions

Venezuela arrests American journalist as U.S. pledges wider sanctionsIn the latest crackdown on a challenge to his rule by opposition leader Juan Guaido, Maduro also expelled the German ambassador, accusing him of repeated meddling in the country’s affairs. On Monday, Ambassador Daniel Kriener and diplomats from other embassies had welcomed Guaido home at the Caracas airport. The United States slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s vital oil industry in January to try to cut off government revenue and force Maduro out, and pledged further action on Wednesday.



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Venezuela: US journalist reportedly arrested in early-morning raid

Venezuela: US journalist reportedly arrested in early-morning raid* Freelancer Cody Weddle out of contact since 8am, reports say * Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and crew detained last weekCody Weddle is the latest in a string of foreign journalists to be detained in Venezuela. Photograph: Fernando Vergara/APAuthorities in Venezuela have reportedly arrested a US freelance journalist after an early morning raid on his Caracas home by the country’s feared military counter-intelligence agency.Cody Weddle, who freelances for the Miami Herald, the Daily Telegraph and ABC News, has been out of contact since 8am when the raid took place and his equipment was confiscated, according to a press workers’ union in Venezuela.Weddle’s assistant Carlos Camacho, a Venezuelan national, was also detained after a raid on his home by the same counter-intelligence agency on Wednesday morning, reported the union, who catalogued 36 cases of journalists held this year.Weddle is the latest in a string of foreign journalists to be detained in Venezuela. Last week Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and his crew were held while interviewing the country’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro. They were released and deported shortly afterwards, while their equipment – including the recordings of the curtailed interview – were kept by authorities.“The Maduro regime, desperate, is doing the only thing it knows to do: repress and censor,” tweeted José Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director at Human Rights Watch.Maduro, who is fending off mounting international pressure to cede power to the opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó, detained two French journalists in January who were filming outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas. Numerous local journalists have been harassed in recent years.Sign up for the US morning briefingFlorida senator Marco Rubio, long one of Maduro’s fiercest critics on the international stage, joined the chorus expressing outrage over Weddle’s detention on Wednesday morning. “US citizen & journalist Cody Weddle is missing in Venezuela and apparently arrested by the Maduro regime this morning,” he tweeted.The move against Weddle worried several Venezuela analysts, who see little logic to Maduro’s authoritarian attacks against individual journalists.“If [Weddle’s detention is] true, this is extremely problematic and a very dangerous move for the Maduro government to make,” Eva Golinger, a former adviser to Maduro’s late predecessor Hugo Chávez, tweeted. “Trump is waiting for any excuse to intervene,” she went on to say, in reference to the persistent threats leveled by the White House since it threw its weight behind Maduro’s ouster in late January.Phil Gunson, a consultant with Crisis Group in Venezuela, seconded that concern. “Given the current state of relations between the US and Venezuela, having military intelligence arrest a US citizen, freelance reporter Cody Weddle, seems like unnecessary provocation,” he tweeted. “Who thought that would be a good idea?”



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Venezuela releases American journalist after full day in custody: media

Venezuela releases American journalist after full day in custody: mediaIn the latest crackdown on a challenge to his rule by opposition leader Juan Guaido, Maduro also expelled the German ambassador, accusing him of repeated meddling in the country’s affairs. The United States said it was set to impose sanctions on banks to ramp up pressure on Maduro to leave office. Most Western countries, including the United States and Germany, have recognized Guaido as the OPEC nation’s legitimate head of state and back his plan to install a transition government ahead of free elections.



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Trump administration demands Maduro return US reporter detained in Venezuela: ‘Being a journalist is not a crime’

Trump administration demands Maduro return US reporter detained in Venezuela: ‘Being a journalist is not a crime’The US State Department has demanded the immediate release of an American journalist detained in Venezuela after it was reported on Wednesday the country’s counter-intelligence agency arrested the freelance reporter. Cody Weddle was reportedly obtained by Venezuela authorities during a raid at his home in Caracas this week. The journalist, who produced freelance coverage on the political crisis under Nicolas Maduro for publications like the Daily Telegraph, Miami Herald and ABC News, had not been reached since 8am on Wednesday morning, according to a Venezuela press workers’ union.



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