Police assault Indymedia photographer

New York, June 11, 2003—An Argentine photographer was brutally attacked by police forces on Monday, June 9, while covering an incident outside an industrial plant in the city of Buenos Aires.

At around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, agents of the Federal Police physically assaulted Alejandro Goldín, 18, a photographer for Indymedia Argentina, an international alternative media outlet, said sources familiar with the situation. The incident occurred while officers confronted a group of protesters of Brukman, a textile factory. According to local press reports, Goldín was covering the confrontation between police and the factory workers, who continue to keep the plant operating after the owners abandoned it when the company went bankrupt.

Although Goldín identified himself as press and showed his credentials, the police deliberately tried to smash his equipment. Goldín was beaten on the head with a shotgun and shoved to the ground where various officers kicked him repeatedly.

Goldín was taken to Ramos Mejía hospital where he received three stitches to the head, and treatment for a swollen leg. The photographer was released a few hours later. Indymedia Argentina filed a judicial complaint on June 10, and authorities are investigating the incident.

More police violence
This is the second attack by Federal Police at the textile factory. Two months ago, on April 21, officers attacked and detained a group of journalists who were interviewing and photographing protestors outside the plant and workers who were being forced by the police to leave the factory.

According to local sources, officers shot rubber bullets at Martín Ciccioli and Alfredo Guirlanda, anchor and cameraman, respectively, from the Buenos Aires América television show “Informe Central.” The police detained Edgardo Esteban, a correspondent for Telemundo network, and Miguel Bonasso, a journalist and writer who works for the Buenos Aires-based daily Página 12. Esteban avoided arrest when his colleagues intervened on his behalf. Bonasso was detained for two hours and released.

“These incidents, in which federal security forces were directly involved in aggressive behavior toward the press, must be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators must be brought to justice, ” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “We call on Argentina’s recently elected government to ensure that journalists are able to do their jobs without fear of reprisal.”