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Police officer who assaulted photographer Víctor Salas identified; another photographer detained

(RSF/IFEX) - The police officer responsible for injuring photographer Víctor Salas, of the EFE news agency, has finally been identified, more than a year after the incident took place. On 21 May 2008, Salas was seriously injured in one of his eyes when he was covering a demonstration in Valparaíso. He has had to undergo several surgeries and has not recovered full vision. The police officer identified as having struck Salas is Carabineros police force sergeant Ivar Barría.

Meanwhile, on 14 August 2009, another photographer, Jorge Zúñiga San Martín, who is the president of the Independent Journalists Association and Union (Sindicato y Asociación de Periodistas Independientes, ARI), was forcibly detained and held by Carabinero police officers for several hours when he was covering a demonstration in the capital. Police were suppressing the demonstration by human rights defenders and organisations supporting the indigenous Mapuche population. Zúñiga was detained when he was taking photographs of the violent arrest of a pregnant woman.

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