Photographers and journalists in Buenos Aires raised their cameras in protest this Friday against the police arrest of two Argentine photojournalists on Wednesday. Photographers Bernardino Ávila of the newspaper Página / 12 and Juan Pablo Barrientos of the Cítrica magazine were detained for covering a a demonstration of workers from the Madygraf cooperative printing press this week.
"We were victims of a brutal aggression. We ended up prisoners for doing our job," Ávila told a press conference. Two Madygraf cooperative demonstrators were detained along with Ávila and Bernardino.
Barrientos demanded the right of the press to work "freely" in the streets and denounced the aggressions "that are constantly repeated" and make reporting the news "more of an uphill battle all the time."
The Friday demonstration in front of National Congress and was organised by the Buenos Aires Press Union (SIPREBA) and the Association of Photojournalists of the Argentine Republic (ARGRA). The event was supported by some opposition lawmakers and representatives of human rights organizations.
In a court appeal defending the journaliists Thursday, SIPREBA and ARGRA asked that the Argentine Security Ministry "abstain from acts that threaten or impede the freedom of movement" of journalists "while exercising their profession, especially when covering demonstrations and protests."
"Such violence exercised by the state not only affects professional organizations and journalists, but also completely alters how the work of journalism is done, because under these conditions it is difficult to guarantee accurate news without putting at risk those who report it," the organisations said in the statement presented to court