Jailed Venezuelan editor goes on hunger strike

Leocenis García, editor of the Venezuelan newspaper 6to Poder, announced on Nov. 9 that he would go on a hunger strike for an "undetermined time" to reinvigorate the appeal against his detention, reported El Universal. García was arrested Aug. 30 after publishing a cover satirizing several female members of President Hugo Chávez's administration.

García said in a statement that "opinion is not a crime" and asked for the resignation of the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Luisa Estella Morales, and the attorney general of the country, Luisa Ortega Díaz, who were both responsible for the accusations against the editor, reported the newspaper El Tiempo.

The Aug. 20 photo-montage published by 6to Poder that sent the editor to jail showed the faces of the justice and attorney general imposed on the bodies of cabaret dancers performing for "mister Chávez." The Supreme Court justice denied in an interview that the case was a "personal issue," reported EFE.

The sister of the editor sent a letter to the Supreme Court on Nov. 9 asking Morales to release the journalist and called the government bodies "violators of freedom of expression," according to El Universal.

International organizations like Reporters Without Borders have already petitioned for the editor's release. The Venezuelan Criminal Forum, an NGO, requested the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor the case against García.