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Attacks on Venezuelan journalists up, but censorship down in 2011

The Venezuelan press reported 87 allegations of assaults, intimidation and censorship between January and July, 2011, according to a recent report by the human rights group Espacio Público.

The organization reported that the number and frequency of assaults against journalists rose to 61, or one attack every four days. This number is up 32% from the same time in 2010. While attacks are up, allegations of censorship are down 54%, according to the newspaper El Correo del Caraconí, published in Bolívar, Venezuela.

One of the most violent attacks includes the armed assault against the state-run Vive TV station in Zulia on Sunday, July 31, that left two people injured.

Most journalists suffered assaults while covering public demonstrations, according to the Report on the Status of Freedom of Expression and Information presented on Wednesday, August 3, at the National Association of Journalists.

Security forces and government officials have been the principle aggressors against the press, reported the EFE Agency. Public protests in Venezuela are also on the rise with 2,635, or seven every day, in the first seven months of 2011. This number is up 50% from the same time last year, according to another Espacio Público report.

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