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Globo TV camera operator brutally assaulted by national police officers

(C-Libre/IFEX) - 6 May 2011 - Uriel Rodríguez, a Globo TV camera operator, was seriously wounded on 6 May 2011, sustaining injuries to his head after he was brutally beaten by police. The camera operator had been filming a protest by Honduras National Autonomous University students that was being dispersed by the police. The incident took place in San Pedro Sula, Cortés Department.

"I started to film when the police arrived in an armed personnel carrier and began to lob teargas bombs. I couldn't move from my location. I was doing my job when five or six police officers rushed me and beat me all over my body. I lost consciousness and my camera was damaged," Rodríguez told Radio Globo.

Still in a state of shock, Rodríguez said, "I cannot say much, I am defenseless. This attack against me was personal. I have been targeted four times. I hold the state, the government and the police responsible for my future wellbeing."

Rodríguez was assisted by members of the Committee for the Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos y Desparecidos, COFADEH), who transported him, still unconscious, to the Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital. A doctor discovered that the journalist had two substantial cuts to his head and various injuries to his chest and extremities. The doctor said that Rodríguez would undergo various tests to determine the severity of his injuries and possible fractures to his skull.

Even after assaulting him, police officers went to the hospital hoping to take the journalist in for questioning, said David Romero, the director of Radio Globo and a news programme on Globo TV.

In a previous incident, Rodríguez suffered injuries to his legs on 22 March when the police fired rubber bullets at him. At the time, he was reporting on teachers being removed from the Honduras Media Education College (Colegio de Profesionales de Educación Media de Honduras, COPEMH) headquarters.

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