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Journalist in Peru arrested and detained for not carrying ID card

On 6 January 2015, Joan Pierre Ríos, a photojournalist for the newspaper El Comercio, was arbitrarily arrested by police officers when covering a story outside the Presbitero Maestro cemetery, in downtown Lima.

Ríos, who was with Miguel Bellido Almeyda, another photographer for the same newspaper, was working with him on a report when at least three police officers approached them asking for their ID cards.

Both photographers showed them their credentials, which included their National Identity Document (DNI) numbers, and they said they were journalists. Bellido showed his DNI, but Ríos was not carrying his with him, so he was arrested, dragged and pushed into the police car and taken to the local police station.

The journalists were able to take note of the last names of two agents; they were Valdivia and Santillán. Nevertheless, and according to the photographers, nobody in the police station wanted to give their names.

Bellido also mentioned that the police officers told them that their credentials were fake and their cameras had been stolen.

Police sources pointed out to El Comercio that the written report of the police intervention only referred to the lack of ID card. Ríos was able to leave the police station two hours after his arrest, and after they verified he had no police records.

El Comercio formally requested the PNP (National Police of Peru) version of the event, and the names of police officers involved, but they have not yet received an answer.

IPYS demands an answer to the newspaper's request, so that police officers involved receive the corresponding sanctions for undermining journalism.

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