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"Prensa Libre" correspondent in Jalapa assaulted

(CERIGUA/IFEX) - On 6 February 2008, Hugo Oliva, correspondent in the department of Jalapa for the Guatemalan morning daily "Prensa Libre", was assaulted by unidentified individuals who stopped him on the street in the Jalapa capital. Jalapa is in eastern Guatemala, 98 kilometres from Guatemala City, the national capital.

According to information published in the electronic version of "Prensa Libre", Oliva, who is now recovering at home, was stopped by four men and beaten on his head and body. The attack was intended to intimidate him, believes Oliva, because the assailants did not steal his photographic equipment, as they would likely have done had this been merely an ordinary assault.

The assault took place two days before Oliva was scheduled to testify to the police against two men accused of being hired killers.

"Prensa Libre" director Gonzalo Marroquín, who is also the chairman of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) freedom of expression commission, condemned the attack and asked the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Journalists and Trade Unionists (Fiscalía Especial de Delitos contra Periodistas y Sindicalistas) to investigate the case.

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