2 July 2008

Alert

Newspaper's lawyer receives death threats warning her to stop commenting on recent murder of its vice-president


Incident details

Yisel Soares, Tannous Gerges, Pierre Fould Gerges

media worker(s)

This is available in:

English Español
(IPYS/IFEX) - On 25 June 2008, Yisel Soares, attorney for the newspaper "Reporte Diario de la Economía", reported having recently received telephone and e-mail threats warning her to stop commenting on the 2 June murder of the newspaper's vice-president, Pierre Fould Gerges. In the messages, Soares was told that she will be the next victim if she continues talking about the case. She was also warned that the newspaper's headquarters could be set on fire. The incident took place in Caracas.

Soares told IPYS that after receiving the messages she filed a complaint with the Institute for Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations (Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas, CICPC). As a result, Judge Leiby Rojas, of Caracas's 30th Tribunal, issued an order assigning police protection for the newspaper's president, Tannous Gerges, and for Soares herself.

The newspaper's vice-president, Pierre Fould Gerges, was shot twelve times on 2 June by an unidentified individual on a motorbike. Gerges was in a gas station in the Chuao sector of Caracas, a few minutes after leaving the newspaper's headquarters. The killer fled with the motorbike's driver.

At the time of his murder, Gerges was driving his brother Tannous Gerges's car. Tannous Gerges received several threatening e-mails and telephone calls in 2007, after the newspaper reported on allegations of corruption at the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and other Venezuelan institutions. It is possible that the killer may have mistaken the victim for his brother.

Updates the Gerges case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/94239


Source

Instituto Prensa y Sociedad
Sucre N° 317
Barranco, Lima
Perú
postmaster (@) ipys.org
Fax:+51 1 2473194
 
More from Venezuela
  • Freedom on the Net 2017: Venezuela

    Along with eroding civil and political freedoms, President Nicolas Maduro’s declaration of a State of Exception and Economic Emergency, extended in May 2017, dictated “strict regulations” to prevent “destabilization campaigns” on the internet

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Venezuela

    Venezuela’s economic crisis continued to affect the media industry, leaving dozens of publications in chronic danger of closure due to the difficulty of meeting basic operational costs. Many outlets also faced robberies, vandalism, and hackings.

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Venezuela

    The government refused to recognize a decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ordering the reinstatement of the terrestrial broadcast license of television station Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), which was taken off the air in 2007 after a highly politicized campaign against the channel by then president Hugo Chávez.