Missing activists and social media

Updated 31 January 2017
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Missing activists and social media

This concerns the story “Missing Pakistani activist Salman Haider recovered” (Jan. 29). It was quite a relief to read that Salman Haider, a renowned human rights activist who went missing from Islamabad earlier this month, had been found and that he had contacted his family for the first time in over three weeks.
Four other activists have also been missing since Jan. 4. Media sources, however, say they are safe and will be heading home soon. Their sudden disappearance became a major topic on live TV talk shows and provided headlines for major Pakistani newspapers. The disappearances drew widespread condemnation and a number of protests were held in cities across the country. It must be noted that social media played a tremendous role, urging people from all backgrounds to join hands and raise the issue in an appropriate way. Social media and the civil society of Pakistan must be applauded for this. It is a big win for them.


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia