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Radio journalists the most frequent target of aggression, says IPYS report

(IPYS/IFEX) - The following is an abridged version of a 5 January 2009 IPYS press release:

Radio journalists the most frequent targets of aggression

IPYS report lists La Voz de la Selva radio station as having suffered the most attacks in 2008

IPYS's Freedom of Expression Committee is concerned about the number of violations against journalists that were committed by government officials and municipal authorities, according to information published in the organisation's 2008 Report on Press Freedom Alerts. The majority of the cases took place in Peru's interior.

According to the report, IPYS registered 106 alerts on attacks against journalists, of which 27 complaints were against public servants from all levels of government.

For the fourth consecutive year, radio journalists were the most frequent targets of aggression, followed by print journalists, journalists who work in media areas that were not specified, and television journalists. The radio station La Voz de la Selva, in the Loreto region, suffered the most attacks, and its director, journalist Mary Pérez, received death threats on three occasions for investigating corruption cases.

The controversial acquittal of Moisés Julca Orillo, who was accused of killing journalist Antonio de la Torre in February 2004, represented an unfortunate move against freedom of the press. In June 2008, the Ancash Superior Court of Justice ruled that there were indications but no solid proof that Julca Orillo was guilty of the crime. Nobody has been punished for the crime, although IPYS has taken the case to the Inter American Court of Human Rights.

Finally, there were two incidents of journalists sentenced to jail that have merited drastic action. In the first case, IPYS has filed a complaint against Judge Teresa Cabrera, who sentenced journalist Magaly Medina and television producer Ney Guerrero to prison terms. The sentence, which the IPYS complaint characterises as having unjustifiable flaws, was handed down on 16 October. IPYS is concerned that this case could become a dangerous precedent in rulings against other journalists. In the second case, IPYS has contested the sentence given to the publisher of the weekly "El Búho de Arequipa", who was penalised for expressing her opinion.

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