Reporters Without Borders today condemned the severe beating which radio journalist Arturo García of Reporte 98.5 FM received from about 30 police officers as a result of a comment he made while covering the arrest of a taxi driver in the old part of Mexico City on 3 November.
“It is outrageous that a journalist should be physically attacked because of a comment that upset the police,” the press freedom organisation said. “We call on the city authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the exact circumstances of this assault and to punish those responsible.”
The police at first let García through to cover the arrest of the taxi driver who, according to his friends, had been mistreated by the police. When asked the reason for the arrest, the police reportedly told García the taxi driver had been “obstructing traffic.” García then commented: “That’s not a sufficient reason.”
Although he was in the middle of giving his station a report by mobile phone, the police insulted him, grabbed his phone and arrested him, ignoring the fact that both his jacket and his car displayed the logo of Grupo Imagen, the media group that owns Reporte 98.5 FM.
The police then punched and clubbed García for about eight minutes. In the course of this beating, one of the police officers reportedly raised his right hand over García and told him: “This is the hand I am going to kill you with.”
Grupo Imagen has filed a complaint against the police.