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Photographer assaulted by security guards

(FOPEA/IFEX) - 25 May 2011 - FOPEA condemns the brutal attack suffered by photojournalist Julián Herr, of the magazine "El Guardián". The incident occurred on the afternoon of 20 May 2011, while Herr was taking photographs outside a building on Leandro Avenue, in Buenos Aires. The Danish Embassy and a restaurant/club called "Danés" are both housed in the building.

The photographer's father, Luis María Herr, told FOPEA that his son was working on an article on food, restaurants and clubs linked to embassies. A security guard approached him and told him he could not take any photographs because the Danish Embassy was located there. Herr showed his press credentials but the guard continued to harass and insult him. Another individual came out of the building and also began to harass Herr, trying to block his camera.

The photographer crossed the street and continued to take photographs. The two men ran after him, continued to insult him. One of them headbutted the journalist and punched him in the face. Herr fell to the ground but was able to photograph the two assailants before he was struck.

The journalist was taken to the Rivadavia hospital with a broken nose. He was released but will need a few days to recuperate.

Herr filed a complaint with the police, where he noted that he had previously contacted the Danish Embassy for permission to take photographs in the building. He had been told that he could not take pictures inside where an event was taking place but was free to photograph outside the building.

Danish Ambassador Henrik Bramsen Hahn told FOPEA that the embassy does not have its own security personnel, nor is there a security guard for the building, just a doorman. He speculated that Herr had been accosted by one of the doormen and a man who worked elsewhere in the building.

Bramsen Hahn added that the Danish Embassy does not pose any restrictions on people who want to photograph the outside of the building and could not understand why the reporter had been targeted in such an aggressive manner.

FOPEA condemns the attack on Herr and urges the authorities to identify and sanction the responsible individuals.

(Please note this is an abridged translation)

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