22 Oct 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 15 Oct 2019 n° 128/2019 Spain

Twelve Journalists Victims of Violence on the Sidelines of Demonstrations in Catalonia

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19
Twelve journalists clearly identified as such were the target of police violence on 14 October 2019 in Catalonia, while covering the protests, following the conviction of nine pro-independence leaders to jail terms for secession attempt, in 2017. Most of these assaults were perpetrated by police officers, either by the "Mossos d'Esquadra", which are under the authority of the Catalan autonomous government, or by the National Police, which is under the authority of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior . The twelve journalists attacked were Elise Gazengel (digital media Contexto), Pol Pareja (eldiario.es), Jordi Mumbrú (daily "Ara"), Eudald Martínez (radio RAC 1), Albert Salamé and Oriol Izquierdo (Vilaweb.cat) , Joan Giralt, Freddy Davies and Núria Gebellí ("La Directa" magazine), Pau Venteo (Catalunya Radio), Victor Asensio (Elprat TV), and a photo-reporter who prefers to remain anonymous. Eudald Martínez is the only victim who was not attacked by police officers: he was hit by a stone thrown by protesters. Most of the incidents occurred around Barcelona’s-El Prat airport.
The Federation of Journalists' Trade Unions (FESP), the Union of Journalists of Catalonia (SPC) and the FSC-CCOO journalists' group demand that an investigation be opened and that the responsibility for the attacks be established. They sent their petition to the Catalan Interior Minister, Miquel Buch, and to the Spanish Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
Updates
New 18 Oct 2019
The total number of journalists victims of some type of aggression while covering the different demonstrations in the week of 14 October in Barcelona rises to 37. - On 15 October, in Tarragona, a protester tore the shirt of a journalist and then pulled Canal Reus' editor Ariadna Escoda's hair. In Lleida, the journalist of the Catalan News Agency (ACN), Laura Cortés, was wounded in the leg by the impact of an object. In Barcelona, a photojournalist from eldiario.es, Sònia Calvó, freelance photojournalist Xavi Hurtado, journalist Quico Sallés from El Món, three photographers who prefer to remain anonymous, and a French reporter reported to have been beaten by police officers. Photographer Mireia Comas was hit by a bottle on her head. An ACN's editor was injured by stones thrown during the protests in Sabadell. - On 16 October, Sira Esclasans (La Directa) was hit by a foam bullet from the Police. The photographer of Ara newspaper Cristina Calderer was injured by a stone. An editor of the same newspaper, Xavi Tedó, explained that he was hit by the Police. Bru Aguiló, a photographer from Fotomovimiento, denounces that police officers broke the objective of his camera and hit him on the knee. Two collaborators of the community television La Mosca TV were beaten and another one received a foam bullet from the Police. Telemadrid has reported the attacks on two of its cameramen, one of them has suffered the impact of a glass bottle thrown by protesters. In Girona, an ACN's editor was hit by objects thrown at the Police. and two more had to be treated in Barcelona after breathing gases. - On 17 October, a Telecinco tv crew was attacked by extreme right-wing protesters, breaking the camera and insulting and threatening them. An El Periódico journalist, Carles Márquez, was shot in the leg by foam bullet shot from a police van while he was with a group of identified journalists.
State replies
21 Oct 2019
New Response form the Spanish authorities
Follow-ups
22 Oct 2019
New Worried about a context of growing insecurity for journalists reporting on the situation in Catalonia in recent months, with attacks against journalists on the rise, CoE Human Rights Commissioner calls Spanish authorities to investigate all reported cases of attacks against journalists, and to take measures s to guarantee the safety of all journalists during demonstrations.
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