Ankara

Italian photographer arrested, beaten during Istanbul demos

Daniele Stefanini rescued by human-right lawyer

Italian photographer arrested, beaten during Istanbul demos

(updates previous) Ankara, June 17 - An Italian photographer was injured when he was struck on the head by police wielding riot batons who eventually took him into custody during riots in Istanbul, Italian embassy sources said Monday. Daniele Stefanini, 28, was struck on Sunday and was later rescued by a human-rights lawyer who said he found the photographer "in a confused state" and took him to hospital. He was later put in police holding where Italian consular authorities are assisting him. "His condition is not worrisome," said the foreign ministry in a statement. Stefanini was stopped by police in Istanbul's district of Bayrampasha, while trying to reach the site of a demonstration. "My son is too passionate about photography," said Stefanini's mother after the photographer called to notify her of the incident. Since the beginning of protests in Turkey, three people have been killed and about 7,500 injured - at least 50 of those seriously hurt. A police officer was killed during a fall from a bridge while chasing protesters, who began their demonstrations against a park demolition but have moved on to demand broader government reforms. Lawyers are raising concerns about police violence against demonstrators, many of whom have been peaceful. Journalists are also being targeted and several have been arrested and beaten.

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