06 October 2015


WHEREAS on August 19, 2015, Alessandro Neves Augusto, aka “Pitote,” was sentenced to 14 years and 3 months in high-security prison for the April 2013 shooting death of photographer Walgney Assis Carvalho in the city of Coronel Fabriciano in Minas Gerais; he had already been sentenced on June 19, 2015 to 16 years in prison for the murder of journalist Rodrigo Neto in Ipatinga, Minas Gerais WHEREAS cases in which radio journalists and reporters in various parts of Brazil have been killed as a result of their work remain under investigation, and among the crimes that remain unpunished are the killings of Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva, on August 29, 1995, in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro; Edgar Lopes de Faria, on October 29, 1997, in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul; José Carlos Mesquita, on March 10, 1998, in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia; and Luiz Otávio Monteiro, on December 29, 1988, in Manaus, Amazonas WHEREAS the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) approved Admissibility Report No. 74/14, Petition 1294-5, in the case of Mário de Almeida Coelho Filho, a reporter, photographer, and administrative director for the newspaper A Verdade who was killed on August 16, 2001, in Magé, Rio de Janeiro stat WHEREAS the friendly settlement signed by the Brazilian government with the IACHR in connection with the January 14, 1998 killing of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira in Itabuna, Bahia, has not yet been fully honored; the case still needs to be reopened to identify and punish those who ordered the killing WHEREAS those charged in the July 5, 2012 killing of sports radio journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira in the state of Goiás appealed their indictment to higher courts, and this is the final phase in determining whether their case will go before a jury; among those charged are businessman Maurício Sampaio, president of Atlético Clube Goianense, the soccer team from Goiânia, a post to which he was elected while he awaits in freedom the decision on his appeal against the indictment; the investigation of the Civil Police still points to the involvement of Urbano de Carvalho Malta, Marcus Vinícius Pereira Xavier, Ademá Figueredo, and Djalma da Silva WHEREAS the Task Force on Human Rights for Communication Professionals in Brazil, created by Resolution No. 7 of October 18, 2012, as part of the Human Rights Defense Council recommended to the federal executive branch that the National Protection System be expanded to include journalists and that an Observatory of Violence Against Journalists be established; however, this observatory has yet to materialize WHEREAS at a hearing held on August 3, 2015, representatives of the National Journalists Federation (FENAJ) asked Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo to take measures to curb violence against journalists WHEREAS, in view of the increase in assaults and killings of journalists in Brazil, the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) launched the “SOS Jornalista” project on August 20, 2015, to denounce crimes against the lives and livelihoods of media professionals; impunity reports will be posted on the ABI’s website after a preliminary investigation, and the ABI will urge the proper authorities, such as the police, the courts, and prosecutors, to take action WHEREAS the proposed Law 191/2015, authored by Congressman Vicentinho, which would amend Law 10446 of May 8, 2002, to call for the participation of the Federal Police in investigating crimes in the event of omission or ineffectiveness by the responsible entities, as well as in investigating crimes against journalists, is awaiting designation by the rapporteur of the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee of the Chamber of Deputies WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly.” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES To call for an urgent effort to reopen the investigations into the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira of Itabuna, in order to identify and punish those who ordered the crime, as was agreed in the settlement signed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) To request a review of the case of Mário de Almeida Coelho Filho, which has been admitted by the IACHR To request support for passage of the law calling for investigations into crimes against journalists in the course of the work to be carried out at the federal level in the event of omission or ineffectiveness by the responsible entities To ensure that media professionals who are threatened may be immediately included in the Witness Protection Program and the Human Rights Advocate Protection Program, and that these programs be enhanced to provide a quality service To demand that the material conditions and necessary support be provided so that police officers, experts, inspectors and prosecutors may solve open cases of journalists who have been killed or assaulted, so as to put an end to impunity To request that those responsible for the investigations of cases involving journalists killed in the line of their work do not limit themselves to identifying and punishing the intermediaries or gunmen, but that they do the same for the masterminds behind these crimes