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Press team attacked by political supporters

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 28 May 2010, supporters of Venezuela's United Socialist Party (PSUV) attacked journalist Andrea Rocha and camera operator Víctor Davalí, both from the candidate Ismael García's press team. This took place in the state of Aragua, northern Venezuela.

The reporters, who were covering an event as part of García's campaign, recorded a group of about 80 to 100 people with red PSUV t-shirts and caps. The group interrupted the event, and destroyed the fencing and the stage.

When the aggressors noticed the journalists they approached them and demanded that the reporters hand over their material. Around 15 persons surrounded the camera operator.

Davalí refused to hand over the tape and attempted to flee. The group followed him and beat him up. When the journalist fell to the ground they kicked him.

Andrea Rocha turned to the passengers of a vehicle that was passing nearby to ask for help. When the attackers saw this, they left Davalí and started to follow the reporter. They believed she had the tape. Rocha climbed into the car and was able to escape.

The PSUV supporters threw a stone that shattered one of the car's windows and cut Rocha's arm. Rocha immediately got in touch with radio station Victoria FM to report what was happening. Meanwhile, Davalí was able to escape to safety.

The reporters were able to keep the tape with their recordings. Rocha and Davalí received medical assistance.

IPYS demands the immediate end to violent actions against the press and asks for those responsible to be punished.

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