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Venezuelan Man Detained For Posting "Destabilizing" Photo On Facebook

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, April 19 2013

Screengrab of Venezuelan Youtube video

Following the presidential election in Venezuela, a government agency detained a man on April 16 for allegedly spreading photographs of burning ballots. The Interior and Justice Ministry accused twenty-two year old Daniel Andres Rondón Sayago of sharing the pictures with “destabilizing intentions.” The Minister for Information announced the detainment via Twitter.

In a video uploaded to a Venezuelan government YouTube channel by the head of public relations for the Interior and Justice Ministry, Rondón Sayago issued an official statement declaring to have published the picture “by mistake” via Facebook, and asked that people “stop publishing this kind of material” and avoid situations of “terrorism.” He assured viewers that the electoral materials being burned are from the 2007 process.

CNN has reported violence in Venezuela following a close election. Venezuela’s top prosecutor said on Tuesday that at least seven people have been killed and 61 injured in post-election riots, although CNN could not independently confirm the reports of violence.

Political officials have taken to Twitter to attack the opposing parties. A top official in President-elect Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Part used the network to call the opposition a fascist, threatening “I will personally see that you pay for all of the damage that you’re doing to our homeland and our people.”

With a disputed election on their hands and, according to a state run news agency, 135 people arrested for political violence, it's curious the Venezuelan government took the time to single out one young Facebook user and compel him to make such a public apology.

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