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Journalist stabbed during street protest

(FOPEA/IFEX) - The Argentine Journalism Forum (Foro de Periodismo Argentino, FOPEA) condemns the assault on journalist Fabricio Glibota on 14 November 2008. The incident took place while Glibota was carrying out his work in the city of Resistencia, the capital of the northern province of Chaco, and is one of the worst attacks against the press to occur in Argentina this year.

Glibota, a journalist for Radio Universidad radio station, was stabbed in the back during a confrontation between municipal employees and street vendors in the centre of the city.

According to witnesses, at the time of the attack there were no police present. The police arrived an hour later. The protest had been announced in the local media, and resulted from an ongoing conflict between the street vendors and the municipal employees' union. Medical assistance also failed to arrive promptly.

Glibota, who also works at "Diaro Norte", was stabbed in the back near his kidneys and had to undergo surgery. He is currently in the intensive care unit. Relatives of the journalist have told FOPEA that his life is not in danger.

The journalist was standing away from the centre of the confrontation and had with him equipment that identified him as a journalist, which leads to the assumption that he was not confused as a protester but rather was attacked because he is a journalist. The characteristics of the action against him and the context in which it occurred prevent it from being considered a random act of violence. The police have detained a person presumed to be responsible for the attack on Glibota.

Santiago Petinich, a cameraman for the local Channel 6 television station, was also injured when he was hit in the leg with a rock. Petinich's injury was not serious and he received treatment for it at a private hospital.

FOPEA publicly demands that the governor of Chaco, Jorge Capitanich, of the Peronist Party (Partido Justicialista), and the mayor of Resistencia, Aída Ayala, of the Radical Civic Union Party, take steps to ensure that these types of confrontations and attacks do not occur again. FOPEA also energetically insists that they investigate the attack and find those responsible for it. FOPEA believes that the only way to prevent such attacks is to end impunity.

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