Miami (June 19, 2014)—Attacks on at least 17 journalists in Brazil in recent weeks in connection with the soccer World Cup were condemned today by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which called on the authorities to investigate and remain vigilant to such acts of violence that restrict the people’s right to receive information.
The protest demonstrations against the Brazilian government for having hosted the World Cup have continued throughout the country. Some 17 journalists were attacked between June 12 and 18 in the various cities where the soccer matches are being held.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, declared, “We condemn and are concerned at the fact that while carrying out their work dozens of journalists have been beaten and restricted from doing their job, in most cases by security forces.”
According to the Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association (ABRAJI) in 15 of the cases of attacks Military Police officers were involved, in using excessive force. ABRAJI said that since the beginning of the protests in May 2013 a total of 190 cases of violence against members of the press have been reported.
Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, “We regret that these aggressive actions are continuing despite measures being adopted by press organizations and official statements ratifying the principle of non-violence against the press.”
In a resolution issued yesterday by the Human Rights Department of the Brazilian Presidency there is recognition of the importance of the work of the press and a declaration that “Reporters, photographers and other media professionals should enjoy special protection in carrying out their work, any obstacle to their operations is prohibited, particularly through the use of force.”
Shortly before the start of the World Cup press organizations in Brazil issued a manual for journalists with useful recommendations on safety and protection during coverage of the protests.
The journalists involved in the June 12-18 period in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Fortaleza are: Barbara Arvanitidis (CNN), Shasta Darlington (CNN), Douglas Barbieri (SBT), Rodrigo Abd (Associated Press), Sergio Moraes (Reuters), Michelle Sprea (freelancer), Karinny de Magalhães (Mídia NINJA), Wilson Ventura (Coletivo Mariachi), Nadini Carega (Coletivo Mariachi), Ricardo Giusti (Correio do Povo), Yargo Sousa Gurjão (Coletivo Nigéria), Rodrigo Carvalho (Mídia NINJA), Kátia Carvalho (freelancer), Marcelo Lyra (freelancer), Daniel Favero (Terra), Cristiano Soares (Rádio Guaíba) and Alexandre Cavalcante (freelancer).
The IAPA is a not-for-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 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.