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Police impede journalist from covering environmental protest, briefly detain him in Coyhaique

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 17 April 2008, a group of police officers detained journalist Patricio Segura outside the Public Works Ministerial Regional Secretariat (SEREMI), in the town of Coyhaique, southern Chile, when he was covering a protest against the minister of the interior, Edmundo Pérez Yoma, who was visiting the region. The reporter was accused of inciting people to disorder and was released two hours later.

Segura is the president of the Journalists' Association in Aysen and a reporter for an NGO that focuses on environmental issues. He told IPYS that he was detained for refusing to obey a police officer who ordered him to leave the scene along with the demonstrators, in order to prevent him from covering the protest.

Segura filmed the moment when in he was detained by police, which can be viewed online at: http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eVDsn50mSY

The protesters were expressing their opposition to a hydroelectric project in the region that the minister is promoting despite the fact that the environmental impact assessment required by law is still being conducted.

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