BUENOS AIRES – Hundreds of photojournalists from domestic and foreign media outlets gathered outside the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to demand that they be allowed to do their jobs free of police harassment while covering marches, protests and rallies.
The demonstration was organized in response to the violence that broke out during the Dec. 14-18 protests against pension reform outside Congress.
About 100 people, including around 30 journalists, were injured in clashes between protesters and police, who used water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas to break up the demonstrations.
The Association of Photojournalists of the Argentine Republic (ARGRA) organized Wednesday’s protest.
“We’re very concerned because even during the worst of times in this country, reporting did not end with so many media members injured,” Paula Rivas, an ARGRA member who works for the Telam news agency, told EFE.
Rivas was hit by 10 rubber bullets fired by police during the protests.
Pablo Piovano, a well-known freelance photographer, told EFE that “freedom of the press is being shredded” in Argentina.
Piovano said he was hit by 13 rubber bullets during the first day of protests outside Congress, adding that a police officer looked him over and opened fire even though he was not a protester.
“We’re asking that they not fire at photographers and shackle those of us who want to report on what’s happening in society and politics in the country. It’s not a coincidence that so many of our colleagues are injured,” Piovano said.