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Wellington journalist arrested at Genoa


24 July 2001

Kia ora, this alert is in three parts: the circumstances of Sam Buchananís arrest; what you can do; and where you can get more information from.

Foreign Affairs have confirmed that the New Zealander arrested at the G8 summit protests in Genoa is Wellington journalist, Sam Buchanan. Mr Buchanan, who has worked for a number of community papers including City Voice, was one of over 90 protesters arrested late on Saturday night in a police raid of a school building rented as a sleeping place for anti-globalisation protestors.

All of the protestors have been simultaneously charged with four charges including unlawful association, possession of a weapon, obstructing police and attempted murder. It is believed that the attempted murder charge is in relation to the death of protester Carlo Giuliana. It is expected however that these charges will be watered down.

Wellington anti-globalisation activist and friend of Mr Buchanan's, Ross Gardiner says, "As media reports say that those inside the school were so severely beaten up by police they could not walk, we are naturally very concerned about Sam's well being. Thirty ambulances were needed to take the injured people away. Many of those beaten were asleep at the time the police raided as it was after midnight. We are also concerned about the charges laid against all the protesters as it appears obvious that the police arrested any protestor or independent media person on very dubious grounds. There is clear photographic evidence that shows police shooting and then running over Carlo Giuliana, the attempted murder charge is just bizarre."

At the same time as the raid on the school building, police also raided the Independent Media Centre. After smashing their way in and firing tear gas, they smashed computers and took documents.

Mr Buchanan has been moved with others to a jail in Alessandra, outside of Genoa, and is not allowed to contact anyone. The protesters will be tried collectively in two or three days.

At 12 noon this Thursday, 26th of July, people will meet at the Italian Embassy in Wellington to protest treatment of protestors at the G8 summit and to show solidarity for Mr Buchanan and others arrested and injured.

Press release from Samís friends and family.

What you can do:

1) Wherever you are around the country - write or fax the Italian Ambassador and tell him what you think about the treatment of protestors by the Italian police. Contact details are: Dr Roberto Palmeiri, Italian Embassy, 34 Grant Road, Thorndon, Wellington or fax him at 04 472 7255.

2) If you are in Wellington - join the protest on THURSDAY, 26 July, 12 noon, at the Italian Embassy, 34 Grant Road (Tinakori Road), Wellington.

For more information:

Further information about the events in Genoa can be obtained from the Independent Media Centre website: italy.indymedia.org


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