March 31, 2017 / 5:18 PM / 8 months ago

Colombia condemns "aggression" against journalist in Venezuela

BOGOTA, March 31 (Reuters) - Colombia said on Friday a journalist reporting on Venezuela’s political crisis for a Colombian radio station was roughed up by that country’s National Guard soldiers in an “aggression” against media.

Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, in a statement, expressed “concern and rejection at this attack on the free exercise of freedom of expression” after the incident involving Caracol Radio reporter Elyangelica Gonzalez at the Supreme Court in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Colombia’s ambassador to Venezuela, Ricardo Lozano, will return to his home country for discussions, Holguin added on local radio, after Bogota, like other governments around Latin America, expressed concern at the court’s assumption of congress’ functions on Wednesday.

Gonzalez, who is Venezuelan, said on Caracol that she was pushed, kicked and restrained by 10 members of the National Guard as she reported live while student protesters gathered at the court on Thursday.

Two phones were also confiscated during her brief detention, she said tearfully after the incident.

A short video of the attack posted on social media shows Gonzalez on the ground surrounded by scores of uniformed officials, who drag her across the concrete and through a gate as she protests.

“You’re detained, shut up, sit down, I‘m holding you because I feel like it,” she cited them as saying. (Reporting by Helen Murphy; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Richard Chang)

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