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FOPEA condemns attack on journalist in Mar del Plata

(FOPEA/IFEX) - Journalist Carlos Walker was beaten, robbed and shot at midday on 29 July 2011 after taking photographs of political posters that were on display without a permit on a street in the city of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires province.

Walker is the editor-in-chief of the website and a journalist for the local FM Ciudad radio station. Local residents who saw the journalist being attacked called the police. Walker was subsequently hospitalised for treatment.

The journalist told FOPEA that he finished taking the photographs and had walked a couple blocks when two masked individuals on a motorcycle pulled up beside him. They began to kick him and struck him in the face with an umbrella. After grabbing the bag in which he was carrying his journalistic equipment, one of the attackers took out a gun and pointed it in Walker's face. The person then lowered the gun and shot Walker above the right knee. The attackers did not take anything else from Walker and, as such, the journalist believes that they knew that the bag they took contained his journalism materials.

The posters that Walker photographed are part of the political campaign of Mar del Plata's incumbent mayor, Gustavo Pulti, who publicly expressed his support for the journalist.

FOPEA expresses its solidarity with Walker and his family and calls on the municipal government and local judicial authorities to investigate the incident and immediately provide protection for the journalist.

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