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Venezuela6 July 2006

Two months of threats against TV programme host

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the death threats received during the past two months by Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, the presenter of the programme “La Entrevista” (The Interview) on the privately-owned television station RCTV, and called on attorney-general Isaías Rodríguez to launch an immediate investigation with a view to ending them.

“We are aware of the controversy about Rodríguez’s programme, but you cannot make threats against a journalist just because you disagree with him,” the press freedom organisation said. “We hope the federal judicial authorities will not only give him the necessary protection but will also carry out a swift investigation and punish those responsible.”

Rodríguez has been getting death threats by phone and e-mail since May that are targeted at himself and the people around him. He said he has been followed and was approached on the street by someone brandishing a firearm. He has also been the target of demonstrations outside RCTV headquarters.

He now has bodyguards and he and the TV station’s lawyers are considering legal action.

A longtime critic of President Hugo Chávez’s government, Rodríguez hosts one of Venezuela’s most controversial TV programmes. According to the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), a local press freedom group, the threats against him began after he referred in his programme to an alleged case corruption involving a supreme court justice.

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