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Newspaper reporter beaten, briefly detained

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On 3 August 2011, Óscar Tarazona, a journalist for the newspaper "El Mío" from Puerto La Cruz, was beaten and then detained in the midst of a confusing police operation which took place in the state of Anzoátegui, northeastern Venezuela.

Tarazona said he was leaving the newspaper offices at night when he bumped into the police officers who were next to a car that was being driven by his cousin. He identified himself as a journalist, asked about what was happening and received a punch from a policeman as a reply. The journalist responded and then other officers proceeded to beat him, handcuff him and take him to a police station.

Tarazona, who said that the policemen mocked him with the phrase "journalists believe they're untouchable", was released a few moments later and subsequently filed a formal complaint with the Prosecutor's Office. The state's chief of police, Francisco Ortiz, said that he stood behind the officers.

IPYS condemns the journalist's mistreatment.

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