Venezuela: Human rights commission accuses country of censoring press

The Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has accused Venezuela of censoring the country’s media. IACHR criticised measures taken against satirical magazine 6to Poder, which was briefly censored for a cover portraying six government officials as cabaret dancers. The organisation released a statement saying that such instances “are against the regional standards for freedom of expression and create an intimidatory environment, encouraging self-censorship.” They also referred to a case against opposition politician Oswaldo Álvarez Paz, who was sentenced to two years in prison in July 2011 for “distributing false information“, having accused Hugo Chávez’s government of supporting drug trafficking.

Venezuela: Editor of censored magazine turns himself in

The editor of satirical Venezuelan weekly newspaper 6to Poder has turned himself in to police on Tuesday while under investigation over a front-page photomontage that angered allies of President Hugo Chávez. Authorities had sought Leocenis García while investigating him on charges of insulting public officials and instigating hatred. The publication and circulation of the magazine were briefly prohibited after it published a cover with six Venezuelan government officials portrayed as cabaret dancers on 21 August. García insists he is innocent.

Venezuela: Censored magazine re-opens, executives still charged

A judge has this week lifted a week-old court ruling banning the distribution of a Venezuelan magazine after it published a satirical article featuring government officials portrayed as cabaret dancers, which had been deemed offensive to women and public officials. However, the weekly, 6to Poder, was still prohibited from referring to the case in print or from publishing similar content. The paper’s owner and a top executive were charged last week with inciting hatred, insulting a public official, and publicly denigrating women. The criminal cases against them are ongoing.