A Spanish journalist was hit in the face with a flagpole before being verbally insulted by protesters while she reported on the Catalan referendum in Barcelona.
Appropriately named reporter Laura Catalan was broadcasting from a balcony in regional capital Barcelona, when a long flagpole bearing Spain’s red and yellow flag was hoisted from the crowd below and smacked into her face.
A recording of the TV3 report, a sequence about the Catalonian referendum, shows Ms Catalan looking annoyed and hurt, but stoically carrying on as protesters shout abuse from the street.
Wiped out: Aptly named Laura Catalan was broadcasting from a balcony in Barcelona when a long flagpole bearing Spain’s flag hit her in the face, but she carried on reporting
The cameraman quickly panned down to identify the perpetrator, seemingly a young man in a white T-shirt.
He is one of many waving large Spanish flags in a large crowd protesting against the prospect of Catalonia becoming an independent republic following a referendum.
Fellow journalist Alex Rodriguez says he then saw Ms Catalan insulted by protesters who called her ‘b****’ and ‘w****’.
He said: ‘All kind of attacks to press are unacceptable.’
Ms Catalan later thanked Rodriguez for his support and said: ‘We do not deserve that, nobody does.’
Attacker: Ms Catalan’s cameraman quickly panned down to identify the perpetrator, seemingly a young man in a white T-shirt holding a Spanish flag
Safe: Ms Catalan is not reported to have been injured when she was hit with the flag
Ms Catalan is not believed to have been injured in the incident.
Spanish media report that some other journalists, including a Russian reporter covering the story, have been targeted by aggressive people.
The referendum held on October 1st has been deemed illegal by the Spanish government.
Some 900 people were injured in clashes with police as they used rubber bullets and extreme force to keep voters from the ballot boxes.
The turnout for the vote was 43 per cent, with 92 of those voting in support of independence.
The result has been condemned by Spain, but the local autonomous government in Catalonia says they will declare themselves independent this week.