The IPI global network strongly condemns the spate of recent violence and attacks against journalists covering the anti-government protests in Peru. We urge authorities to take immediate action to bolster protections for the press and to ensure that journalists covering the demonstrations are able to do so safely.
Scores of journalists reporting on the protests have faced physical and verbal attacks since the protests began in December, both from police and from the demonstrators, according to reports. Journalist Aldair Mejía was verbally and physically attacked by police stating they would kill him if he kept on documenting the protests, according to reports. Photojournalist Walter Hupiu was dragged and beaten by police. In both incidents, police were made aware that these individuals are journalists. Journalist Bryan Matías was targeted by protesters who threw objects at him and verbally attacked him.
In addition to facing violence, several journalists have been arrested. On January 21, journalists Journalist Paty Condori Huanca, Percy Pampamallco Yancachajlla and César Huasaca Abarca, were arrested while covering the police raid of National University of San Marcos in Lima.
“IPI is extremely alarmed by levels of violence by both authorities and anti-government protestors against the Peruvian press”, IPI Director of Advocacy Amy Brouillette said. “Journalists must be able to cover protests and demonstrations safely, freely, and without fear of violence.”