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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Photos of police attack at gay pride parade land Brazilian journalist in jail



A Brazilian photographer was arrested after refusing to delete photos of police attacking two young people participating in a gay pride parade on Oct. 16, in the city of Itabuna, Bahia, reported the newspaper Correio 24 horas.

According to the website Notícias de Ipiau, Ederivaldo Benedito, known as Bené, said four police officers tried to convince him to delete the photos soon after they realized they were being photographed. When he refused, they ordered him to turn over the camera. When the photographer refused again, the police charged him with contempt and held him in jail for over 21 hours until he gave a statement.

According to Chief Marlon Macedo, the police alleged that the photographer was interfering with their work, did not have identification, and became aggressive when he was asked to move. Bené denied the allegations, saying the police were belligerent and that the scene was witnessed by "over 300 people," reported Agência Estado.

President of the Itabuna branch of the Brazilian Order of Lawyers, Andirlei Nascimento Silva, said that the group would "urge punishment for those involved" in the case. "You can't arrest someone for taking photographs," he said.

The Professional Journalists Syndicate of the State of Bahia denounced the arrest and demanded "rigorous investigation of the facts." On Oct. 18, The Secretary of Public Security in Bahia announced that an inquiry would look into the circumstances surrounding the arrest.



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