Fundamedios demands action from authorities in the face of attack against journalist

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Fundamedios demands that the authorities in charge of security in the country, the Ministry of the Interior, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Police, initiate the actions necessary to find those responsible for the flagrant aggression against El Universo journalist Christian Zurita. “We are talking about a particularly serious incident, because the attackers acted with premeditation, in broad daylight and before the passive eyes of police officers who were allegedly keeping order in Quito’s Plaza Grande”, declared Fundamedios’ director, César Ricaurte. He added, “we would not want to record this attack as just another one in the long history of aggressions against the press in Ecuador without the authorities taking any action, setting a climate of absolute impunity when journalists are attacked”.

On 16 July 2015, El Universo journalist Christian Zurita was a victim of physical and verbal aggressions as he was insulted, pushed, kicked and spat at. Government supporters attacked him while he covered a protest against Mauricio Rodas, mayor of Quito, in the historic center of the capital.

Speaking to Fundamedios, the journalist said that around 17:30, while covering the protest, a man approached him and asked for his identity. After assenting, the man rebuked the journalist saying, “you’re the liar who wrote against our president”. Zurita asked the man to let him do his job, but instead, the government sympathizer began instigating the other protesters to insult him. “A group of about 40 people started yelling ‘liar, thief, corrupt, paid by Chevron, journalist of the oligarchy’. They began in unison and forgot the mayor. They stopped shouting ‘out Rodas, out’ and started to shout ‘out Zurita, out’. As I am not a trouble maker I shouted with them and then they started pushing and kicking. They spat on me, they insulted me, until someone pulled me out of there and somehow the police got in between us and asked me to leave because I had gone to instigate the crowd”, said the journalist to Fundamedios. Minutes later Zurita commented that thinking about his safety, he left the area without being able to finish his job.

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