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Journalists assaulted and detained during carnival celebration

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 27 February 2010, José Puga, a journalist for "El Comercio" newspaper, and Jean Marco Córdova, a freelance photographer, were hit and then detained by police while they were taking pictures of the police's attempt to subdue a carnival celebration. The incident took place in the Barranco district in southern Lima.

Puga told IPYS that the officers arrived at the scene in several police cars in order to disperse the people who were celebrating at a neighbourhood street party. According to witnesses and images that have appeared on Youtube and other media, the police used tear gas bombs and disproportionate violence.

The reporters were taking photographs of the police action when they were surprised by three police officers who, without identifying themselves, started hitting the journalists prior to detaining them. Puga and Córdova had identified themselves as members of the press. When Puga asked about the motives for his detention, he received no answer. They were kept at the police station for nearly an hour.

Córdova's camera lens was taken by members of the police's Emergency Squadron. He reported that the lens has not been returned yet.

According to the journalists, they were not allowed to file a complaint that night. Puga stated that the following day they had to "ask Barranco's chief of police, Manuel Rivera, for permission" so that he would accept the report.

IPYS rejects these violent acts against the two journalists as an attack on freedom of expression and information.

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