IFJ Protests Attacks Against Journalists in Argentina

The IFJ has expressed concern over recent attacks against journalists in Argentina.

Dr. Gustavo Béliz

Minister of Justice, Security and Human Rights

Tel/Fax: + 54 11 4328 - 2442 / 2730

Brussels, 23 June 2003

Dear Excellency,

The International Federation of Journalists, the world’s largest journalists’ organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists worldwide, is concerned over the recent brutal attack on Alejandro Goldín, an 18-year-old photographer for Indymedia Argentina, on 9 June, by police officers.

According to our information, Goldín was covering an incident between police and factory workers at Brukman, a textile factory in Buenos Aires, when he was assaulted by agents of the Federal Police. The workers have kept the plant operating since the owners abandoned it on bankruptcy.

Although Goldín identified himself as press and showed his credentials, police tried to smash his equipment. Goldín was beaten on the head with a shotgun, shoved to the ground and kicked repeatedly by officers.

Goldín was taken to Ramos Mejía hospital where he received three stitches to the head, and treatment for a swollen leg. He was released a few hours later. Indymedia Argentina filed a judicial complaint on 10 June, and authorities are investigating the incident.

This is the second attack on journalists by Federal Police at the textile factory. Two months ago, on 21 April, officers attacked and detained a group of journalists who were interviewing and photographing protesters and workers being forced by police to leave the factory.

Local sources say that officers fired rubber bullets at Martín Ciccioli and Alfredo Guirlanda, anchor and cameraman respectively for the Buenos Aires América television show Informe Central. The police detained Edgardo Esteban, a correspondent for Telemundo network, and Miguel Bonasso, a journalist and writer for the Buenos Aires-based daily Página 12. Esteban avoided arrest when his colleagues intervened on his behalf but Bonasso was detained for two hours before he was released.

The IFJ urges you to make sure that an investigation into the incident regarding Goldín does in fact take place. We also call for an additional investigation into the cases of Ciccioli, Guirlanda and Bonasso. We also call on Argentina's recently elected government to ensure that journalists are able to do their jobs without fear of reprisal.

Yours sincerely,


General Secretary