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Journalist beaten, knocked unconscious by local police

(OLA/IFEX) - On 7 April 2010, journalist Orlando Rucana Cuba, the editor of "La Revista" newspaper and director of the news program "ITN" on Channel 27, was knocked unconscious after he was attacked by police officers and security guards in Huaraz, Ancash province.

The attack occurred at 9:00 a.m. Rucana was filming a group of municipal police and security guards as they evicted street vendors from the area.

The police chief approached Rucana and demanded that he stop filming. He then hit Rucana with his head. When he saw that Rucana was still recording the incident, other police officers and security guards attacked him. One of them hit Rucana in the head and he collapsed.

The street vendors assisted Rucana and drove him to the hospital in Huaraz, where he regained consciousness and was kept for observation. Rucana's head was bruised and his vision was affected by the beating. Rucana reported the incident to the Huaraz Attorney General's Office, where he accused the police chief of causing injury and property damage and of abusing his authority.

In a conversation with Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión (OLA), Rucana described the incident: "They beat me so hard I thought they were going to kill me. I was only doing my job, without showing favour to anyone. I was filming in a public space. Both sides had blunt objects. I was reporting on an unusual event. The evidence of violence and abuse of authority is on my camera, which recorded the confrontation between the street vendors and the moment when I was attacked."

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