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Government minister refuses to reveal identity of police officers who attacked television crew

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 8 September 2009, Interior Minister Alfredo Rada refused to reveal to the press the identity of the police officers who, on 3 September, attacked a Unitel television network crew. In a press conference called by his office, Rada did, however, announce that the Crisis Resolution Tactical Unit (UTARC), the police division to which the officers belonged, was being disbanded. He said that he had approved a Police Command resolution to dissolve the UTARC because he believed its members failed to act professionally and made the institution "look bad." He, however, did not reveal the names of the officers involved in the incident, nor did he allow journalists to ask questions.

General Víctor Hugo Escobar, a police commander who accompanied Rada during the conference, guaranteed that freedom of expression would be respected in Bolivia, although he asked journalists to recognise that some of their actions could be considered "confrontational."

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