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Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Chilean court sentences police officer to 1.5 years in jail for attacking photojournalist



A Chilean military court sentenced a police officer to 541 days in prison for attacking a photojournalist for the EFE news agency who was covering a protest in the coastal city of Valparaíso, on May 21, 2008, reported the newspaper La Nación.

The photographer attacked, Víctor Salas, said that he would appeal the decision, seeking a harsher sentence against officer Iván Barría Álvarez, according to the newspaper La Tercera.

According to EFE, after the officer hit Salas in the right eye, the photojournalist "had several surgeries but did not recover total vision in the injured eye."

Earlier this week, Reporters Without Borders released its 2011/2012 Press Freedom Index. In the report, Chile dropped 47 places down to the 80th worst place for freedom of expression in the world, due in large part to the high number of journalists arrested during the South American country's student protests.



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