ANP recorded 230 attacks on journalists during a year of protests in the country

The National Association of Journalists of Peru (ANP) recorded 230 attacks on journalists during coverage of social protests in the country in the last year. After the mobilizations that began on December 7, 2022, the ANP has denounced attacks on journalists by law enforcement forces (there are multiple cases of reporters and photojournalists hit by pellets), arbitrary arrests, stigmatization, obstacles to access to information referring to legal mobilizations and initiatives aimed at parameterizing coverage.

The data collected by the Journalist’s Human Rights Office (OFIP) of the ANP shows that January was the month with the highest number of attacks, 100 attacks. In Juliaca, on January 7, the photojournalist from the EFE news agency (Spain) suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg, preceded by death threats, which kept him unable to resume his activity for two months. That same month of January, in Lima, on January 21, four journalists from the Puno region were arbitrarily detained, in circumstances in which they were covering the police raid on the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos.

The ANP has recorded frequent cases of attacks on media headquarters both in Lima and in the regions, and recurring verbal and physical attacks on national media workers and their correspondents in the regions. There have been thefts of work instruments, microphones, drones, among others, in addition to attacks with sticks, stones and bottles.

From the normative point of view, on March 1, we highlighted with concern the attempt to impose an “Inter-institutional action protocol for the coordination and attention to journalists and social communicators in the context of disturbance to public order”, which was nothing more than a proposal “express” to parameterize coverage and contravened information freedoms. In that same sense, in her message of July 28, the President of the Republic announced a request for legislative powers to the Congress of the Republic that contemplated the criminalization of journalism by classifying a new criminal type of instigation to disturb public order. This purpose could have been stopped given the immediate reaction of the press institutions in the country.

A pattern that we detected, in this year of mobilizations, is the repeated refusals of the National Police of Peru, the Ministry of Defense and the Joint Command of the Armed Forces to provide information about their interventions requested through requests for access to public information. The institutions have refused to comply with rulings from the Court of Transparency and Access to Public Information and have resorted to judicial channels to avoid the rulings.

To date, the recorded attacks remain in absolute impunity. There is no result of any investigation.

The National Association of Journalists of Peru (ANP) remains on permanent alert before the announcement of the mobilization days of December 7, 8 and 9. The context of protests always increases the risk for those who are on the front line in information activity.
December 7, 2023

Source: (0riginal Spanish)

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