Reporters Without Borders condemns the physical attacks on journalists that have occurred in the course of demonstrations in several provinces since the start of December by police officers demanding more pay.
“We urge the demonstrators and the police to respect the work of journalists, who have often been the targets of reprisals in connection with their coverage of the protests,” Reporters Without Borders said.
We also call on the authorities to ensure that journalists are protected and to punish those responsible for the violence. These attacks reinforce the concern we previously expressed about the increase in violence against media personnel since the start of the year, especially in the provinces.”
The unofficial police union APROPOL has been threatening the Rosario-based daily La Capital’s reporters ever since the start of the protests. Police also threatened local TV station Canal 5’s reporter Belén Salvañá, cameraman Cristián Ponce and technician Miguel Debiassi on 10 December to get them cut short a live report. Posters attacking Canal 3 and Radio Dos have been put up around the city.
Members of the National Gendarmerie have physically attacked a number of journalists including La Gaceta reporter Luis María Ruiz and photographer Jorge Olmos Grosso, El Siglo stringer Daniel Gollán, Gianni Bulacio of El Tribuno de Tucumán and Sebastián Lorenzo Pisarello of APA!, an alternative news agency. “As I was covering the demonstrations, a policeman approached and then two others gave me a beating,” Olmos (photo) told Reporters Without Borders.
Journalists with Canal 4 and Canal 7 and Carlos Sánchez, a photographer with the online newspaper La Voz de Jujuy, were attacked on 9 December and their equipment was stolen. Ángel Díaz of RadioVision Jujuy was attacked twice the same day, firstly by youths who were breaking the window of sports store, then by policemen, who threatened him and roughed him up. Policemen also harassed Canal 4 Noticias reporter Luis Letter and cameraman Gonzalo Rodríguez.
A policeman harassed a reporter and a cameraman with Canal 7 on 9 December and, using threats, forced them to abandon their work.
A photographer with the daily El Independiente was threatened and then attacked by a group of policemen on 6 December. Another journalist with the same newspaper, María de la Vega, said she was using her mobile phone to film an arrest “when a plainclothes policeman hit me to make me drop my phone.” Police taking part in a demonstration attacked other journalists, including a reporter and a cameraman with Capital TV.
Santiago del Estero
Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to explain why they arrested Juan Pablo Suárez, the editor of the opposition newspaper Última Hora, on 9 December after he allegedely refused to hand over a video of a police officer involved in the demonstrations who was later arrested.
Photos: APA Prensa