Miami (January 7, 2020) - The flagrant attacks against journalists in the performance of their work by supporters of President Donald Trump, including physical harassment and the destruction of broadcasting equipment of international media, is "an assault against press freedom" and the aggressors must be identified and punished according to law, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) said today.
Supporters of the president of the United States attacked journalists in the vicinity of the National Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, amid clashes with the police in protest of Trump's electoral defeat and with the intention of preventing the certification of the president-elect, Joe Biden. At least four people were killed in the incidents, several police officers were injured and there were dozens of arrests.
"We have always feared that so much rhetoric against the press and stigmatization against journalists and the media that Trump continued relentlessly during his mandate would one day end up generating this type of violence against press freedom, as we observed last night," lamented the president of the IAPA, Jorge Canahuati, CEO of the multimedia Opsa Group of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The president of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, stated that the degree of violence against press workers "reached an unprecedented point of barbarism, for which the authorities must adopt measures so that these situations are not repeated in the future ".
Canahuati and Jornet expressed their solidarity "with the colleagues and the media affected by these attacks" and indicated that "the violence is often the product of the folly and polarization that is generated in the upper echelons of politics."
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.