Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa - FLIP

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Monday, 02 May 2016 20:03

Theft of the equipments of a journalist and human rights defenders.

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The Foundation for Press Freedom - FLIP - condemns the robbery underwent by the independent journalist Bladimir Sánchez.

On Friday 15th of April 2016, unknown persons entered the flat of the journalist Bladimir Sánchez and stole a computer, a video camera, a USB flash drive and a hardware. When the journalist went home at night, he found the locks of his door violated and the absence of his equipments.

The strangers also took away a sheet of paper where the journalist had written notes for make a documentary on irregularities of the Drumond company. According to Sánchez, the equipments also contain material about human rights violations on the part of mining companies such as Pacific Exploration and Production, with which he wanted to do a new documentary.

According to the informations received by the FLIP, this is not a “simple”, profit-driven theft, due to the fact the thieves ignored other valuables in Sánchez’s residence.

In 2012 Bladimir Sánchez published a documentary entitled “What the colombian government does not want us to see”, where he showed agressions of ESMAD riot policemen against demonstrators who were opposing to the construction of the Quimbo dam. After the publication, the journalist received several threatening phone calls and close friends reported him that strangers had asked them for the address of his residence.

The severity of this assault against press freedom is that in the journalistic equipments, especially the computer and the hardware, contain personal and work-related sensitive informations. This type of situations put professional secret and journalists safety at risk.

The FLIP repeats its concern about these facts and draws attention on the possible risks that they represent for the safety of Bladimir Sanchez. In that sense, the FLIP calls the Attorney General of The Nation and the National Police to investigate the facts promptly in order to find the perpetrators of the theft.