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Military Police assault and detain journalists during protests in Rio de Janeiro



Photographer Yasuyoshi Chiaba (Photo: AFP).

A photographer for Agence France-Presse (AFP) sustained a head wound by the military police during protests in Rio de Janeiro on Monday evening, July 22.  The attack occurred around the vicinity of the Guanabara Palace, where Pope Francis was received by President Dilma Rousseff and Governor Sérgio Cabral, according to the agency.

Yasuyoshi Chiba, a 42 year-old Japanese photographer, was hit with a baton while he photographed clashes between the police and protesters.

"I saw a protester fall to the ground. The police grabbed and took him away. I was taking pictures when I was suddenly pushed by other police officers. I lifted my arms with my camera to show that I was a photographer and I meant no harm, but a uniformed policeman with a shield hit my head with a baton," Chiba told AFP.

Independent media reporters arrested

Two journalists with the independent media group Ninja (Portuguese acronym for Independent Narratives, Journalism, and Action) who were transmitting the protests by mobile device were also arrested. According to the Military Police's Twitter account, one of them was detained because of "instigating violence." The other was "detained for questioning" when he tried to find out what had happened with his colleague, according to the Agência Estado.

 

Their arrests were transmitted live (see the video below). The phone used in the transmission was taken away. After about an hour, the two reporters were let go. 

Since the beginning of the protests that started in response to the June price hike for public buses, several members of the media have been targets of assaults and arbitrary arrests while covering the events.



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