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Photographer assaulted by police officers

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 16 October 2010, photojournalist Miguel Jaramillo was assaulted by more than 10 federal police officers in the city of San Luis Potosí. Jaramillo works for the daily newspaper "Pulso." Jaramillo was taking pictures of a shootout between the police and a group of criminals, that left two civilians dead and seven officers injured.

Jaramillo, the first journalist to arrive at the scene, was assaulted by a dozen of hooded police officers who threw him to the ground and kicked him. Paramedics who were attending to the wounded intervened to stop the attack.

Jaramillo was transferred to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a sprained neck, and is currently unable to work. The police have since returned Jaramillo's camera, which was confiscated in the attack, but have not given back the memory card where the photos were saved. A report has been filed with the State Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos, CEDH) for assault, theft and abuse of authority.

On the front page of its 17 October edition, "Pulso" published an editorial in which it called the assault a triple abuse – against Jaramillo, against the readers' right to information, and against the media's right to free expression.

"The most worrying aspect of this case," said the CEDH, "is that there is every indication that journalists are facing a systematic abuse of power at the hands of uniformed police officers, which carries repercussions for civil society as a whole."

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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