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TV journalist assaulted, receives death threat

(FOPEA/IFEX) - FOPEA condemns the attack on journalist Hugo Macchiaveli on 13 November 2009, when he was physically assaulted and threatened with death by Wilfredo Orellana, a manager of an unlicenced transport company that operates between the suburbs surrounding Buenos Aires and the city itself.

The incident took place at a bus terminal located in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. Macchiaveli was doing research for a programme called "GPS", which is broadcast by the América TV television station. The journalist and his team filmed the attack (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC1HAv9hCWw ), which was later broadcast on the programme on 3 December.

FOPEA condemns this incident and calls on the authorities to take action against Orellana. FOPEA does not condone the manner in which "GPS" obtains information for its reports, since sometimes the objective of getting information with respect and objectivity is diluted by a provocative journalistic approach. FOPEA believes that this approach contradicts the vision of ethical and responsible journalist that the organisation defends. However, FOPEA is also of the opinion that the anger or displeasure caused by this journalistic approach can never justify a violent physical assault such as that which took place in this instance.

After the attack, Macchiaveli was treated at the Pirovano hospital and filed a complaint with the Buenos Aires City No. 10 Correctional Attorney's Office.

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