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Reporters Without Borders Annual Report 2004 - Gibraltar

Publisher Reporters Without Borders
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Reporters Without Borders, Reporters Without Borders Annual Report 2004 - Gibraltar, 2004, available at: [accessed 22 May 2023]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

This self-governing British overseas territory has little history of blocking press freedom, but the authorities arrested 14 journalists in dangerous circumstances as they were covering a demonstration by the ecology organisation Greenpeace.

Police arrested 14 journalists as they were reporting on a protest by Greenpeace activists on 20 January 2003 against the anchoring off Gibraltar of a 25-year-old single-hulled oil tanker, the Vegamagna, which was doing cargo-transfer work for a local firm, Vemaoil.

Isaias Bueno, a cameraman for the Spanish RTVE, and Mario Rodriguez, who was coordinating the protest, said the police action was dangerous and brutal. The 14 Spanish journalists – representing the dailies El Pais and El Mundo, the Associated Press news agency, the independent TV stations Telecinco and Antena 3, the publicly-funded stations RTVE and Canal Sur, and the local station Europa Sur - were in three rubber dinghies (with six activists) when they were stopped by police.

Virgilio Moreno (cameraman) and José Marin, both of Telecinco, were freed on bail of 1,600 euros that night after being held for 12 hours. The other journalists were released three hours earlier. Marin was fined £500 on 22 October for resisting arrest, while Moreno was acquitted of the same charge.

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