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Journalist files complaint following realisation that Cuban embassy employee was armed when facing RSF demonstrators in April 2003

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has announced that it is supporting a complaint filed on 14 October 2003 by news photographer Ricardo Vega against an unidentified employee of the Cuban embassy in Paris. The complaint alleges "threat with a firearm" and "complicity" in the use of violence by embassy staff who broke up a demonstration by RSF activists outside the embassy on 24 April.

Vega took this step after noticing that the unidentified Cuban embassy employee could be seen loading a revolver outside the embassy perimeter in the video that the photographer recorded during the incident. Vega was badly beaten in the face by a member of the embassy staff in the course of the incident, and he was re-examining the videotape in an attempt to identify his assailant when he spotted the armed employee.

He had previously registered a complaint at the headquarters of the investigative police in Paris, alleging "deliberate violence resulting in eight days of disability." He included this accusation in the new complaint filed with a senior investigating judge on 14 October.

"Not only did members of the embassy come out with iron bars to hit us, but one of them was carrying a firearm, which he loaded while outside the embassy," RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard said. "This new element is extremely serious. It is unacceptable that persons linked to a foreign embassy should commit such offences on French territory," he added.

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