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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Brazil’s human rights secretary recommends police escort program for threatened journalists



Brazil's Secretary of Human Rights María do Rosário. Foto vía Wikipedia.

Last week Brazil's Secretary of Human Rights Maria do Rosário announced new recommendations to protect journalists, which would include providing a Federal Police security detail to threatened journalists, reported news portal A Tarde.

Brazilian newspaper Estado de São Paulo reported that other measures will include police training to make sure sure that officers protect, not hamper, freedom of speech.

“The police are responsible for protecting press workers and simply cannot impede [their] access to public space,” Do Rosário said in Geneva when she announced the measures earlier this month.

The recommendations come after the death of Santiago Andrade, a Brazilian cameraman who was killed in Feb. 6 by a flare while covering protests in Rio de Janeiro. In response to the incident and increasing violence against the press in the country, José Eduardo Cardozo, the Justice Minister, recently announced measures to protect journalists from having equipment like cameras and cellphones confiscated by the police.

The proposed measures followed a report by the country's Council for the Defense of Human Rights (CDDPH) underscored the high levels of violence facing Brazilian journalists. Between 2009 and 2014, 321 crimes against journalists took place, resulting in 18 deaths. According to the report, the Southeast was the region with the most incidents with 130, the Northeast follows with 89, and the Amazonia had the fewest cases at 45. Ninety-seven of the cases came during 2013 alone.



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