News

May 2, 2014 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Journalists attacked by riot police, one of them is accused of assault


Reporters Without Borders condemns attacks by police on four journalists from the daily El Colombiano who were covering May Day demonstrations in Medellín. Andrea Torres, Sebastian Carvajal, Juan Fernando Rojas and Esteban Vanegas were assaulted by riot officers to whom they had made a point of showing their press cards. Vanegas, a photographer, was accused of assaulting public servants. He was released overnight after being held for 12 hours. “This attack took place just over a month after the United Nations approved a resolution on the need to protect journalists covering peaceful demonstrations,“ said Camille Soulier, head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk. “Reporters Without Borders calls on the Colombian authorities to apply this resolution and make sure it is upheld by the police. We urge the public prosecutor to drop all charges against the journalists concerned and to investigate the police officers who attacked the journalists.” The prosecutor in charge of the case must announce charges within 36 hours. The allegation of assaulting a public servant, which is extremely worrying, is liable to a prison sentence of between one year and three years.