Buenos Aires Police Fire on Journalists, City Official Plays Down Incident
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||30 April 2013|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Buenos Aires Police Fire on Journalists, City Official Plays Down Incident, 30 April 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5187b5e94.html [accessed 23 October 2017]|
Reporters Without Borders condemns the use of excessive violence by the Buenos Aires metropolitan police against journalists covering a demonstration by hospital employees on 26 April.
The organization also deplores the city public security minister's comments about the violence and calls for appropriate disciplinary measures against all the officials who were responsible.
At least 50 people including many journalists were injured when the police fired on the crowd outside José T. Borda Hospital with rubber bullets. The police also charged reporters.
The injured journalists included Clarín photographer José "Pepe" Mateos, La Nación photographer Ricardo Pristupluk, Crónica photographer Pablo Villán, CN23 reporter Paula Avellaneda, FM La Tribu reporter Patricio Tejedor, En Movimiento TV camerawoman Belén Revollo, Canal A24 reporter Soledad Larghi, Canal 13 TodoNoticias cameraman Carlos Torres, reporter Gabriel Eiriz, cameraman Leonardo Piccone and Télam news agency photographer Daniel Dabove.
C5N cameramen Mario Ricci and Mario Gavilán, Crónica TV cameraman Fabián Alasi, Alberto Samudio and Sebastián Vázquez (Telefé) also suffered at the hands of the police.
"Four policemen rushed at me, threw me to the ground and kneeled hard on my back, pressing my ribs down on my camera," Mateos told Reporters Without Borders.
Commenting on the violence, Buenos Aires city public security minister Guillermo Montenegro said the journalists were "not used to the police taking action." He added: "Many of them were at the spot where the incidents were taking place."
"How can you blame journalists for being close to the events they were covering, in order to do their job better?" Reporters Without Borders said. "The authorities must not be allowed to wriggle out of their responsibility for the violence. An investigtion must be ordered in order to shed light on all aspects of what took place."
This is not the first time this year that journalists have been victims of violence by the metropolitan police. TV Pública reporter Julieta Elgul and Canal 26 cameraman Cristian D'Amico were injured by police while covering a demonstration in the city's Centennial Park on 30 January.
Reporters Without Borders urges Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri and the metropolitan police to respect the neutrality and physical integrity of media personnel and to follow the recommendations on promoting and protecting human rights during peaceful demonstrations that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights included in her annual report on 21 January.