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Camera operator detained, assaulted by police

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On the morning of 18 May 2011, camera operator José Rivera, of the Teleamazonas TV station, was detained and beaten by National Police officers while he was covering a story outside the provincial offices of the National Electoral Council (CNE) in the city of Guayaquil.

The incident occurred when Rivera attempted to obtain a statement from a man who was detained for allegedly being disrespectful towards one of the Armed Forces members who guard the CNE headquarters.

According to a news piece broadcast by the TV station, a witness stated that "the Teleamazonas employee attempted to open the police car door to interview the detained man and apparently the major didn't like it so they took him into custody."

Rivera was taken to the Judiciary Police and then to the local police station, and was accused of having slammed the car door against a policeman. The camera operator said that he was beaten by the police officers who "hit me, threw me to the floor, stepped on my head, my face . . . " He also noticed that the footage he had recorded had been erased, without the police being able to explain how this had happened.

Appearing before the media, Commander Ramiro Mantilla, Guayaquil Police District Chief, said that his department would cooperate with the investigation of this case.

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