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Journalists mistreated in three different incidents in Caracas and Barquisimeto

(IPYS/IFEX) - Journalists in Caracas and Barquisimeto were mistreated in three separate recent incidents.

On 23 April 2008, a Caracas municipal police officer fired buckshot against the pavement to stop Ávila TV television station journalist Oswaldo Rivero from covering the eviction of a group of tenants from a building in the Chacao neighbourhood, which had led to a confrontation between the police and the tenants. Police officers attempted to stop the recording of events by covering the tape recorder's lens. The reporters were able to tape the incident nevertheless.

On 25 April in Barquisimeto, a city in the western part of the country, "El Impulso" newspaper journalist Adriana Ciccaglione and photographer Simón Orellana were hit by a group of security agents in Lisandro Alvarado University (UCLA). The journalists told IPYS that they were hit while they were covering an art exhibition in the UCLA's Rafael Monasterios gallery. One of the assailants was identified as Alfonso Romero. The journalists left without covering the event. On 29 April, UCLA's vice-chancellor, Francesco Leone, went to the newspaper to apologize to the journalists.

In another incident in Barquisimeto, on 26 April "El Impulso" photographer Daniel Arrieta was beaten by several municipal police officers during the presentation of Mayor Henri Falcón's candidacy for the Lara state governorship. Arrieta told IPYS that he was hit when he attempted to climb onto the stage in order to take pictures of the candidate. The Barquisimeto city council's Director of Information, Luis Gómez, attempted to prevent the assault, but was then himself hit by the police officers.

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