Sign up for weekly updates

Camera operator targeted after he is identified as being from a region where the authorities oppose the national government

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 24 September 2008, Carlos Saavedra, a camera operator for the Bolivisión television network, suffered an attempted assault by two unidentified women while he waited outside the San Pedro prison for the lawyer of Pando department governor Leopoldo Fernández. Fernández is being held at the prison in La Paz for having violated the state of siege that was declared in Pando.

Carla Flores, a reporter who was with Saavedra at the time of the incident, told the National Press Association (Asociación Nacional de la Prensa, ANP) that several journalists were waiting at the prison's entrance to interview Fernández's lawyer when two women started to harass them, telling them to identify themselves.

When they reached Saavedra, he reprimanded them for their actions. When the women heard his accent, which is characteristic of the eastern region of the country where most of the authorities oppose the central government, one of the women took a rock out of her bag??. and attempted to hit the cameraman in the head with it.

The women did not identify themselves, but the media personnel recognised them as members of the Popular Civic Committee, an organisation that supports the government. The ANP has not been able to confirm this since the Popular Civic Committee leaders, who were keeping watch at the jail to ensure that Fernández would not be transferred to another prison, refused to comment.

After the journalists present at the jail managed to stop the assault on Saavedra, the women called on their companions to overturn Bolivisión's vehicle. Flores said that the media personnel were forced to flea the area.

For further information on attacks on journalists and media outlets during the recent political crisis:

Latest Tweet:

Hong Kong: "If people can no longer speak their mind, what place is there for press freedom?"…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.