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EFE photographer wounded by police while covering protest in Valparaíso

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 21 May 2008, EFE photojournalist Víctor Salas was wounded when a police officer struck him with a baton. Salas was covering the protests being staged by several civil society organizations in the vicinity of the National Congress in the city of Valparaíso (120 km from Santiago), the country's legislative headquarters, where President Michelle Bachelet was presenting her annual report to the country. The protests were broken up by police on horseback and in vehicles armed with water cannons.

In images broadcast by Mega TV station, the photographer could be seen bleeding and saying to the camera: "A cop hit me in the eye."

Salas received medical attention at the Instituto de Seguridad del Trabajo, a private clinic in Viña del Mar, a city near Valparaíso. The medical report, made available by the Association of Foreign Correspondents, diagnosed "severe contusion of the right eye including the risk of functional and organic loss."

The reporter won the 2007 National Photography Prize in the press category, a contest organized every year by the Chilean Association of Photojournalists and Camera Operators.

IPYS urges the authorities to identify and punish the assailant.

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