Call for dialogue with government in letter to new information minister

first_img Two journalists murdered just days apart in Venezuela Organisation News News June 15, 2020 Find out more VenezuelaAmericas March 13, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for dialogue with government in letter to new information minister New wave of censorship targeting critical media outlets Mr. Willian LaraMinister of Communication and InformationDear Minister,Reporters Without Borders would like to take advantage of your installation as Minister of Communication and Information on 9 March to refer to recent exchanges between the government you represent and our organisation. Our hope is to establish the basis for a real dialogue.As a press freedom organisation, we recently issued two releases about cases currently before the courts that appear to be causing a controversy in the news media and public opinion in Venezuela. The first, on 27 February, took the form of an open letter to your predecessor, Yuri Pimentel, querying contempt of court proceedings against several news media. The second was about the detention on 7 March of Televisora del Táchira presenter Gustavo Azócar Alcalá on charges of fraud and embezzlement.We were both astonished and shocked at the violence if the statements issued by your ministry on 1 and 9 March in response to our releases. We even posted – on the Spanish-language version of our website – Mr. Pimentel’s response to our open letter to him.We were shocked because these statements contained many false accusations against Reporters Without Borders. The 9 March statement charged us with being “in the pay of the US government and secret services” and with undertaking “the media sabotage against the Bolivarian Revolution”; In the eyes of your government, we were guilty of “defaming the Venezuelan people, despising Venezuela and meddling in its internal affairs”. All this was said to be “with the complicity of the seditious opposition and the privately-owned media, in a new media offensive that is part of the psychological war operations of the Empire – the United States – designed to justify its aggression against Venezuelan democracy”.In both cases, we just expressed our concern about specific legal issues without questioning the principle of the proceedings and without in any way denigrating the authorities responsible. Concern does not mean condemnation.It is the job of every NGO to question democratic governments about the principles or causes they claim to defend. We have, it is true, criticised parts of the law on the social responsibility of the news media and the criminal code reform law. We fear that some of the provisions of these laws restrict press freedom. But have we said there will be no more press freedom in Venezuela? No, we have not. And criticising a law is not the same as condemning a government.This is the reason for our astonishment. On the one hand, we know that the situation of journalists is much more dramatic in countries such as Mexico and Colombia in which, unlike Venezuela, they are exposed to reprisals from armed groups. On the other hand, we also condemned the imprisonment of Judith Miller of The New York Times from July to September 2005 in the United States just for refusing to reveal her sources to the judicial authorities.We have also paid a great deal of attention to the case of Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj, who has been held for nearly four years on the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay without specific charges being brought against him and in conditions that violate all international human rights conventions. We urge you to read our recent report, available on our website, which has a title that could not be clearer about its content: “Camp Bucca and Guantánamo : when American imprisons journalists”. We are ready to send you a copy.We have not failed to understand the role of certain privately-owned Venezuelan news media during the period of the April 2002 coup, and we stressed this at the time. We therefore find it all the harder to understand why your government is the only one to be unable to tolerate any criticism at all.Finally, we do indeed receive funding from the National Endowment for Democracy. This financing represents 3 per cent of our budget – our accounts are public – and, aside from the fact that it comes from the US congress and not the White House, it is assigned to our activities in support of imprisoned African journalists. It has nothing to do with western hemisphere.I very much hope your will heed our appeal.Sincerely,Robert MénardSecretary-General RSF_en Receive email alerts to go further News News January 13, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Venezuela VenezuelaAmericas August 25, 2020 Find out more Two recent Reporters Without Borders releases about controversial cases elicited scathing responses from communication and information minister Yuri Pimentel, accusing us of plotting “media sabotage against the Bolivarian Revolution”. In a letter to his successor, Willian Lara (photo), who was appointed on 9 March, we answer the charges and call for dialogue. Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Help by sharing this information last_img read more

Henry Street HQ to expand

first_img Previous articleNorthampton match traffic planNext articleO’Dea promises to ‘kick some ass’ admin Twitter NewsLocal NewsHenry Street HQ to expandBy admin – January 21, 2010 691 HENRY STREET gardai have been granted an extension…. with the acquisition of the leasehold interest in the adjacent former Eircom premises, and designed to relieve the pressure on their existing building.It had been indicated two years ago that the Department of Justice had expressed an interest in section of the now Foreign Aid building across the road, and which had been under construction, with a view to providing long sought after additional space for Henry Street garda personnel.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Contracts have now been signed for the red-bricked former Eircom offices, built in the 1970s by local developer Charles Humphreys.Their new premises, which had been on the market for some time, have five floors of accommodation.The current premises will be retained.Inspector John O’Reilly said that, like all garda stations, the building is to be leased, and that a number of departments, along with Garda training quarters, would be transferred there.“We are expected to be in situ for July of this year”, said the Inspector, confirming there would not be any additional holding cells in their new premises. The cells are to remain at the existing station.There are around 350 garda personnel in the district, which includes Henry Street, Mayorstone and Mary Street stations.Plans are also in place to relocate Limerick District Court to a more secure location in the city, and while a Henry Street site had been widely mooted, the likelihood now is that it will be built on a vacant space in Mulgrave Street, and close to the prison. Print Facebookcenter_img Advertisement Linkedin WhatsApp Emaillast_img read more

Wolf Administration Launches Pennsylvania Violence Data Dashboard

first_img August 03, 2020 Press Release,  Public Health,  Public Safety Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Department of Health has launched a violence data dashboard to collect data on the scope, frequency, geography and populations affected by violence in Pennsylvania. The creation of the dashboard was a mandate in the governor’s 2019 Executive Order to Reduce Gun Violence.“The executive order I signed last year included tangible actions to reduce gun violence in our commonwealth and this dashboard is one that under the leadership of the Department of Health will work collaboratively across multiple agencies to collect data we need to determine the scope, location and factors that contribute to gun violence in our state,” Gov. Wolf said. I encourage every Pennsylvanian to view the dashboard for information that can inform policies and initiatives in their own communities.”The governor’s executive order set forth to establish a Violence Data Dashboard that will collect and provide data on the scope, frequency, locations, and populations affected by violence, including data on the number of victims of gun violence, rates at which gun violence occurs in locations, and contributory factors. The Department of Health will coordinate with and collect data from the Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania State Police, PCCD, and other commonwealth entities to populate the dashboard.“Violence is a significant public health issue that affects many people each and every year,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “This dashboard will assist in providing information on the scope of violence in Pennsylvania, and the populations affected by it. Working alongside a number of state agencies, we are committed to taking steps to reduce the impact violence has on an individual’s health and way of life.”Gun violence in the United States and within the commonwealth has resulted in the tragic loss of human life, with more than 1,600 individuals losing their life to a firearm death in Pennsylvania in 2018.The violence data dashboard includes data looking at death cause and hospital discharge summary statistics. Hospital discharge data is from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). Data is also available by gender, race/ethnicity, age group and geography.For more information on violence from a public health perspective, visit www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Wolf Administration Launches Pennsylvania Violence Data Dashboardcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more