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SPP General Secretary detained and beaten by police

Santiago Ortiz, General Secretary of the Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay (Paraguyan Journalists Union, SPP), was detained on Wednesday afternoon [25 May 2016] by the National Police for allegedly not carrying his identification with him.

Ortiz told his partner over the telephone that he had been detained and beaten by police in the Barrio Obrero neighbourhood. The last update given was that [Ortiz] was under arrest at the Segunda de Asunción police station.

After several minutes incommunicado and without any definite information about his whereabouts - since the Segunda police station denied that Ortiz was being detained there - our union leader was released after human rights lawyers became involved.

After leaving [the station], he denounced the high-handed and violent treatment from police officials who tried to forcefully put him in the patrol car. [Ortiz] identified official Fredy Rojas as one of his assailants. He mentioned that even residents of the neighbourhood and colleagues who approached to see what was happening were mistreated by those in uniform.

Superintendent Vidal Achucarro stated in the press that the "abovementioned [individual]" was detained because he refused to show his identification, and that [his identity] had to be verified given that he was in a "conflictive" neighbourhood.

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