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Argentina: Violence Against Journalists Cited

Argentina: Violence against journalists must be fully investigated

"We are going to kill you, out."

"We're going to kill your children first."

"Do you want to see him with a bullet in his chest."

Threatening anonymous phone calls reported to the police by Clara Britos, newspaper proprietor and journalist.

Attacks on freedom of expression have been increasing in Argentina in recent years. Many journalists are unable to carry out their legitimate work without fear of intimidation and physical assault against them and often their families.

"Violence and intimidation suffered by Argentine journalists during and after the economic collapse and political turmoil of December 2001 must be independently, thoroughly and conclusively investigated", Amnesty International said.

Police beatings are very familiar to press photographers. They have already become part of the profession's everyday reality, especially since the events of December 2001." Christian Frolich, photojournalist from the Buenos Aires newspaper Crónica.

In a report published today, Argentina: Journalists: Press accreditation - The wrong credentials?, Amnesty International highlights cases of human rights abuses suffered by Argentine journalists between January 2002 and March 2004, many of which have still not been fully investigated.

The report includes examples of state restrictions on freedom of expression in Argentina and lists 59 cases of human rights abuse against journalists in the country.

Allegations of abuse include attacks on journalists by security forces while covering popular demonstrations as well as attacks on and intimidation of journalists and their families involved in investigating cases of corruption.

To protect freedom of the press, Amnesty international believes the Argentine authorities should:

* conduct thorough, impartial and conclusive investigations into all complaints from the media, including those against the security forces.

* cooperate with investigations and ensure they are fully transparent and their outcomes made public.

* bring to justice those found responsible.

* guarantee the right to reparation for the victims and their relatives.

"Freedom of expression and information are nationally and internationally recognised rights in Argentina. Journalists have a legitimate role in investigative reporting and this role should be protected by the Argentine authorities. Amnesty International said.

For the full report please go to:

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