ANP registers 631 attacks on the press

Ismael Luna reports for El Dia:

Between 2010 and 2018

The document is part of one of the five civil society reports sent for the UN Universal Periodic Review

In an average of 71 cases per year, the Monitoring and Surveillance Unit for Press Freedom and Expression in Bolivia from 2010 to 2018 has cataloged 631 attacks on journalism and the written press.

The document, to which El Día had access, was sent by the ANP (National Association of the Press) to the United Nations for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), to which the Bolivian State, this year will be submitted, on the violation of human rights and the environment.

This work is part of five other reports, which 50 civil society organizations, were sent to the UN. “The ANP has presented this document jointly with Fundamedios from Ecuador and Cedib of Bolivia on the state of freedom of expression and press, which seeks to preserve the rights of information and freedom of expression,” said Franz Chavez, responsible for the Monitors Unit of the ANP.

A worrisome situation The aggression against press freedom between 2015 and 2018 registered 312 cases, which is equivalent, says the ANP document that represents almost half of what was established in nine years, with an average of 78 cases. “If a year has 52 weeks, an average of 1.5 attacks per week could be established,” argues Chávez.

Of the cases registered in 2018 that add up to 92; 66.3% (61 cases) were attacks on freedom of expression promoted by the State; 5.4% (5 cases) aggressions promoted at the same time by the State and private; and 28.3% (26 cases) by private companies.

It is striking that, in accordance with international standards and the Political Constitution of the State that establishes the duty and responsibility of the State to defend and guarantee this right, the responsibility for these aggressions comes in more than 66% of cases in this sector, points out the document of the ANP.

In addition, although there are 92 registered cases in this year, some of them could configure an infinity of cases for which there is no record, for example: “The Prosecutor forbids the dissemination of information without authorization”, where a restriction of this type can limit or eliminate the possibility of consulting and reporting on cases of public interest in a variety of subsequent opportunities; or when the questions bother a minister: “Rada accuses journalists of being” opponents “for the type of questions they ask,” which restricts the right of other journalists or media that do not want to enter into conflict with the authority or government.

“This generates an indirect address to unimportant questions or only conducive to the convenience of the current authority, eliminating any possibility of scrutiny to matters of public interest, seeking to mold public opinion, affecting the individual and collective dimension of this right,” Chávez remarks.

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