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Journalist struck in the face by rubber bullets

(AMARC/IFEX) - Roland Aparicio, a journalist with the La Tribu community radio station, was injured when he was struck by two rubber bullets while he was covering the eviction of individuals from a cultural centre in the Almagro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.

Aparicio is part of the independent production team for the "Grabado" programme and he had approached the area in order to cover the eviction, which took place on the morning of 12 August 2009. He was broadcasting live on the radio station when he was struck by the rubber bullets.

According to personnel from the radio station, when the police actions associated with the eviction became aggressive, Aparicio withdrew to a distance of more than 25 metres from the police cordon in order to continue broadcasting live. He was then struck in the forehead by rubber bullets, approximately three centimeters above his right eye. Within minutes he was transported via ambulance to a hospital, where he received treatment for his injuries.

Personnel from La Tribu said that another incident took place in Almagro on 19 May when journalist Gustavo "Mingo" Minián was covering police actions against demonstrators who were calling for the reopening of a cultural centre launched by area residents and subsequently violently evacuated.

Minián was detained by federal police officers without explanation and in spite of having told them that he was working in his capacity as a journalist. He was detained in the morning and was not released until that evening.

La Tribu made a statement in which it condemned "these attacks on freedom of expression" and also denounced the "attacks on cultural centres launched collectively by residents to cover needs that the government has failed to attend to."

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