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TELESUR reporter released after 56 days captivity, fears for his life

BOGOTA (10 January 2006) - Freddy MUNOZ, a reporter for the Telesur television network, was freed 9 January after 56 days of detention by Colombian authorities who were unable to present proof tying him to rebel organizations and attacks on the national electric grid.

"This is a fantastic lesson for those in the Colombian establishment that want to weaken the institutions of this country," Munoz told Caracol news. "It's a message that says we are on the right path," he added.

He was arrested upon arriving in Bogota on 10 November 2006, accused of rebellion and terrorism based on testimonies of three supposed ex-guerrilla fighters who identified Muñoz as the insurgent called Jorge Eliecer. However, those accusers later admitted they were pressured by the Attorney Office to inculpate the journalist.

According to Caracol, the journalist was freed because of a lack of evidence and because some of the witnesses that testified against him retracted their statements. However, RCN TV news said that the investigation will continue.

Muñoz appreciated the solidarity and the support of the media, colleagues, Telesur leaders and members of non governmental organizations.

Freddy Muñoz, a correspondent for multinational TV channel Telesur in Colombia, fears for his life. He noted that evidence against him was masterminded by the government, reminding that the witnesses and the attorney used to incriminate him are those who framed Sociologist Alfredo Correa, who was murdered a few days after proving his innocence and being released from prison.

Telesur is a TV network that acts as a counterweight to the one-sided discourse of the corporate media, which deliberately denies, restricts and ignores people's right to information.

Originally promoted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Telesur is owned by Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Cuba. The network's headquarters is in Caracas.

Previously on shunpiking Online

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