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RCTV Internacional journalists assaulted by police

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 26 August 2009, RCTV Internacional reporter Daniella Morrel and camera operator José Ángel Colmenares were attacked by police while they were covering a demonstration by transport workers who were complaining about the delay in the construction of a road in Timotes, a rural area on the border of the States of Mérida and Trujillo, in western Venezuela.

In the midst of a confrontation between demonstrators and policemen, a group of police officers reprimanded the journalist for being in the area, took her microphone and destroyed the TV station's identifying logo. At the same time, Colmenares was wounded when he tried to protect Morrel, receiving four rubber bullet shots to the leg.

According to the journalist, when transport worker Luis Pérez attempted to intervene in order to protect her, the policemen arrested him and ordered him to be taken to the city of Mérida.

The journalist condemned the police officers' reaction against her and the detained demonstrator.

Euro Lobo, a reporter for Globovisión and a member of Mérida's Journalist Association's Board, said that the Association condemns this attack against RCTV Internacional and demands respect for the free exercise of journalism.

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