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Television programme cancelled; journalists assaulted and harassed by regional president and his supporters

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 13 October 2008, the owner of Canal 21 television station, Jorge Donayre Lozano, cancelled the "Hora Zero" programme when its host, journalist Raúl Celis, was interviewing Fernando Tunjar Wong, a councillor from the Maynas Provincial Municipality, about a request that Wong step down from his position.

According to Celis, Donayre's reaction was related to personal problems he has with the councillor. The station's owner, who is also a former member of Congress, insulted the official and followed him all the way to the street, threatening him with a hammer.

The journalist considers the cancellation of his programme to be a violation of press freedom. He pointed out that the programme has a licence to broadcast and said that he will speak to Donayre about the agreement signed by both of them.

In a separate incident, on 21 October a group of supporters of the Ancash regional president, César Álvarez Aguilar, assaulted and harassed the reporters who were covering a press conference called by Aguilar in Chimbote, northwestern Peru. The supporters, who occupied most of the hall where the conference took place, insulted and pushed the journalists in order to stop them from asking Álvarez questions about his administration.

Aguilar pushed journalist Nilton Gamboa in order to make his way towards the hall's exit, while evading all questions.

Gamboa was also hit in the back by one of the regional president's supporters. Aguilar's supporters accused the reporters of being corrupt.

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