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Police assault, briefly detain journalist in Cartago

(IPYS/IFEX) - In the early hours of 17 September 2007, reporter Juan Alonso Restrepo was assaulted by agents of the police's motorized unit in Cartago, a city in southwestern Colombia, as he was leaving the headquarters of CNC television station. He had just finished taping an interview with a candidate to the municipal council about the upcoming regional elections. The motives for the assault are unknown, but they may be related to his work.

Restrepo told IPYS that the beating took place on one of the city's main avenues. The patrol car charged his vehicle without any apparent provocation. The reporter parked his car. As he stepped out of it, he was thrown onto the ground, hit in the back with a gun and kicked. He was then handcuffed and taken to the Berlín police station. He was released three hours later.

The journalist was traveling with his wife, who nearly suffered a miscarriage because of the trauma caused by the incident. Reporters Andrés Bolívar and Jeivan Cardona were also in the car. They were threatened by the policemen involved when they attempted to film the assault.

Restrepo intends to file a complaint with the Prosecutor's Office.

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