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Prison guards fire upon journalists to prevent them taking photographs of inmates' hunger strike

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 14 September 2007, National Penitentiary Institute (INPE) personnel working at the jail in Chimbote, a port in northern Peru, fired upon several journalists with breech-loading guns in order to prevent them from photographing the hunger strike started by prison inmates.

The journalists targeted were Shirley Oliva Cuevas of "La Industria de Chimbote", Alex Martínez Pajuelo of "Diario de Chimbote", Abigail Díaz Moncada of "El ", Patricia Cárdenas Ávalos of "Correo", and camera operator Rody Idrogo Puelles and reporter Julio de Dios Farroñán, both from UCV satellite television station.
Following the incident, the assistant commissioner of the Office of the Ombudsman, Rina Rodríguez Luján, visited the jail to request an explanation from its director, José Hugo Torres. Torres admitted that his personnel had indeed fired upon the journalists, justifying the action by stating that taking photographs of the prison is forbidden.

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