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"El Liberal" correspondent attacked while covering elections

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has condemned a 27 February 2005 attack on Guido Uaut, a correspondent for the regional daily "El Liberal", while he was covering gubernatorial elections in the northern province of Santiago del Estero.

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

Uaut, the "El Liberal" correspondent in Termas, 75 km from the provincial capital, Santiago del Estero city, was attacked when he went to cover the elections at a school that was being used as a polling station.

"Our correspondent was notified of incidents taking place between militants from opposing parties inside the polling station," the daily's correspondent coordinator, Marcelo Alfaro, told RSF. "He went there and took photos. One of the militants saw him and alerted other people, who ran after him, roughed him up 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 province.

Uaut filed a complaint at the Termas police station, while "El Liberal" management contacted provincial government authorities to demand the return of their correspondent's camera. Uaut's camera was returned to him on 1 March.

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