The IAPA warns about impunity and restrictions against the press in Bolivia

The IAPA warns about impunity and restrictions against the press in Bolivia

EFE / La Paz

Judicial impunity in cases of attacks on journalists and restrictions on news coverage on issues of public interest are issues of concern in Bolivia, said the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) in its preliminary half-year report published on Tuesday.

“Impunity in cases of aggression against journalists remains an issue pending resolution,” the IAPA establishes in its report.

One of the most sensitive cases was the “kidnapping and torture” in October of last year of six journalists, for at least seven hours, while covering a land enslavement in the eastern department of Santa Cruz. Police officers and farm workers were also affected in this event.

You can also read: HRW, on house arrest for a journalist: “A little common sense in a process without head or tail”

The IAPA expresses its concern that “the Prosecutor’s Office and the justice system ignore the treatment of alarming cases” such as that of Santa Cruz, in which “some 80 hooded men” inflicted “a beating and the destruction of video recording equipment with gunshots long”.

The preliminary report, which must be approved in the Assembly, establishes that the investigation “remains inconclusive” despite the fact that there are already two detainees and questions that the Bolivian Government has described the event as a “simple incident” despite the fact that those affected They asserted “that his life was at risk”.

This fact was condemned by journalistic unions and several reporters carried out marches to demand guarantees from the authorities to carry out their work, while there were also some complaints of the alleged affinity between the aggressors and those related to the ruling party.

You can also read: UN Committee expresses concern about harassment of journalists in Bolivia

In its preliminary report, the IAPA also warns about what happened on April 4, when the judicial authorities “restricted the coverage of the independent press” to the trial against the former interim president of the country Jeanine Áñez who “were expelled from the virtual hearing.”

Those responsible for the judicial appointment argued that this situation arose due to the lack of a supposed accreditation of the media before that court, despite the fact that national regulations establish that the hearings are public as long as a reservation has not been declared.

The IAPA also mentions the attack and unjustified arrest by the Police of the journalist Carlos Quisbert, of the newspaper Página Siete de La Paz, when he was covering the demonstrations of a group of coca leaf growers opposed to the Administration. of President Luis Arce.

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