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Sucumbíos police detain journalist, harass camera operator

(IPYS/IFEX) - During the early hours of 12 April 2009, camera operator Israel Díaz, of Lago Sistema Televisión Canal 4, was assaulted by the police and journalist Vicente Albán was detained. The journalists were covering a police operation in the province of Sucumbíos, in northeastern Ecuador.

The journalists were on Quito Avenue when they saw police vehicles and motorbikes go by. They decided to follow them. The police were on their way to carry out an operation at a brothel known as "Casa Blanca". Díaz got out of the car to record the incident, and Alban went to park the vehicle.

The police officers prevented Díaz from taping and pushed him into the street. According to the police, they pushed the camera operator out of the way because somebody had threatened him from inside the brothel and they wanted to identify the aggressor.

Albán had an argument with the police officers over their treatment of his colleague. He was arrested for "unruly behavior" and was only released seven hours later.

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