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Venezuela7 November 2005

Students attack four TV crews trying to cover their demonstration

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the use of violence by students against crews from four TV stations, Televén, RCTV, Venevisión and Televisora Informativa del Centro (TIC TV), who tried to cover a student protest against a transport strike on 2 November in Maracay, in the central state of Aragua.

“This was an especially violent attack in which some journalists were forced to flee and others found themselves unable to cover the demonstration,” the press freedom organisation said. “Once again the press has been singled out as a target in social disturbances and we call on the authorities, in view of the current unrest, to take the necessary measures to protect journalists.”

The RCTV and Venevisión crews quickly pulled out when the students began attacking them with stones and bottles. The students went on to threaten the Televén crew with broken bottles and tried to take their camera. They also took the microphone of the TIC TV crew, broke their camera and beat them up.

TIC TV reporter Sorelia Machuca, who was psychologically traumatised by the attack, and cameraman Carlos Perdomo, who was hurt in the neck and back, were given a week off work.

When the Venevisión crew went back a short while later to try to film the scene of the incidents, they were again threatened by students armed with clubs and stones and their vehicle was slightly damaged.

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