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Argentina2 March 2005

Party activists manhandle provincial correspondent, take his camera

Reporters Without Borders today condemned a physical attack by party activisits on Guido Uaut, a correspondent for the regional daily El Liberal, during elections for governor in the northern province of Santiago del Estero on 27 February.

"There is no justification for violence against a journalist doing his job," the press freedom organization said. "We call for an investigation into this incident and the punishment of those responsible."

Based in Termas, 75 km from the provincial capital, the city of Santiago del Estero, Uaut was attacked when he went to a school being used as a polling station.

"Our correspondent was notified of incidents taking place between activists from different parties inside this polling station," Reporters Without Borders was told by El Liberal’s coordinator for correspondents, Marcelo Alfaro.

"He went there and took photos. An activist noticed and alerted other people who ran after him, manhandled him and snatched his camera," Alfaro said. According to the newspaper, around 20 people were involved, all members of the Peronist party, which holds power both nationally and in Santiago del Estero.

Uaut filed a complaint at the Termas police station, while El Liberal contacted the provincial government and demanded the return of his camera. He got it back yesterday.

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