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TV crew covering trial in El Salvador receives menacing threats

UPDATE: Man suspected of pointing gun at TV crew quickly arrested (RSF, 24 January 2013)

(RSF/IFEX) - 23 January 2013 - Reporters Without Borders joins the Association of Salvadoran Journalists (APES) in calling for an investigation into a death threat made in the street and in broad daylight yesterday against a crew from the television station Canal 12 in Santa Tecla, west of the capital San Salvador.

“The efforts by the Salvadoran authorities concerning journalists' safety must be further strengthened in the light of the threats received by the Canal 12 team of reporters. Together with APES, we call for the establishment of genuine safeguards to protect journalists at risk because of their work and the sectors they cover.

“This applies not only to the relevant police and judicial authorities but also to the managements of media organizations. We hope that the current investigation will quickly produce results,” the press freedom organization said.

The incident occurred when the Canal 12 crew had just left the Santa Tecla courtroom, where the trial of three men suspected of involvement in a shootout in the town six days earlier had just begun. At a bend in the road, the crew's vehicle was forced to stop by another car whose driver briefly waved a pistol and pointed it at the journalists before putting it down and driving off. The crew filmed in the incident.

The TV station said in a statement it had received other threats, including a warning that “we won't be responsible for the lives of the journalists and cameramen” if they reported on the trial.

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