08 Nov 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 15 Oct 2019 n° 126/2019 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
23 Oct 2019
The number rises further to 59. On 17 October, extreme-right protesters also assaulted a Cuatro TV-crew. On 18 October, in Ronda de San Pere, police shot rubber at identified journalists, injuring an ACN journalist. Two Televisión Española (TVE) teams were assaulted. In Barcelona, a Context journalist suffered an asthma attack, caused by tear gas. El Mundo journalist Quico Sallés said he was hit in the leg by rubber shots before being beaten by five policemen. Photojournalist Juan Carlos Mohr claimed policemen hit him and the camera. Journalist Fermín Grodira reported he was insulted, pushed and beaten by policemen. Catalunya Ràdio journalist Arnau Maymó said he was hit by policemen who told him “You don’t know who we are”. El Nacional photojournalist Sergi Alcázar was beaten by a policeman. El Mon director Salvador Cot reported he was hit by National Police Force officers while taking photographs. Freelance journalist Guillem Andrés was beaten by policemen despite identifying himself as a journalist. Photojournalist Emili Puig was hit in the face by rubber bullet despite identifying himself. Cadena SER journalist Albert Prat reported she was hit on the legs despite identifying herself. An Euskal Telebista cameraman was taken to hospital, after policemen ignored his calls for help, for treatment of injuries caused by rubber bullet. AP journalists Emilio Morenati and Bernat Arnangué were hit by rubber shots. Vilaweb photojournalist Albert Salamé was injured in bright daylight. Photographer Paco Freire reported policemen assaulted him, hit and broke the camera, despite identifying himself and no protesters being at the scene. In Girona, Diari de Girona photojournalist David Aparicio was wounded by a rubber bullet, despite wearing a press vest. On 19 October, a TV3 cameraman was beaten by a protester in Barcelona. According to Mèdia.cat, the number of injured journalists is 65, but some remain to be identified.
18 Oct 2019
The number of journalists who were victims of violence while covering demonstrations rises to 37. On 15 October, in Tarragona, a protester pulled Canal Reus editor Ariadna Escoda's hair. In Lleida, Catalan News Agency (ACN) journalist Laura Cortés was wounded in the leg. In Barcelona, eldiario.es photojournalist Sònia Calvó, freelance photojournalist Xavi Hurtado, El Món journalist Quico Sallés, three photographers who requested anonymity and a French reporter were hit by policemen. Photographer Mireia Comas was hit on her head by a bottle. Two journalists underwent medical treatment from tear gas. In Sabadell, an ACN editor was injured by thrown stones. On 16 October, La Directa journalist Sira Esclasans was hit by a rubber bullet. Ara photographer Cristina Calderer was injured by a thrown stone. An editor of the newspaper, Xavi Tedó, was reportedly beaten by policemen. Fotomovimento photographer Bru Aguiló said policemen broke his camera and hit him on the knee. Two La Mosca TV workers were hit by policemen and a third by a rubber bullet. Telemadrid reported attacks on two cameramen. In Girona, an ACN editor was hit by objects thrown at policemen. On 17 October, Telecinco TV crew members were attacked by extreme-right protesters, who broke the camera and insulted them. While staying in a group of identified journalists, El Periódico journalist Carles Márquez was hit by a rubber bullet shot from a police van.
State replies
21 Oct 2019
Response form the Spanish authorities
Follow-ups
25 Oct 2019
OSCE Representative for Media Freedom concerned by attacks against journalists during demonstrations in Spain, calls for protection of journalists covering protests.
22 Oct 2019
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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