JUNE 3, 2005
Posted: June 24, 2005

José Carlos Forner, CaTV
Robson Xavier, CaTV


Forner and Xavier, who work for television station CaTV, were attacked by police officers at the end of an indoor soccer game in the city of São Miguel do Iguaçu, in southern Paraná state.

The journalists were covering a soccer match featuring teams from São Miguel do Iguaçu and Cascavel, another city in Paraná. After players from the losing team complained about the officiating at the end of the game, police started beating them, according to Jorge Guirado, a director and sports commentator with CaTV, the affiliate of television network TV Educativa do Paraná in Cascavel that broadcast the game live. When Forner, a sportscaster, tried to interview the team’s coach and players, a police officer hit him in the abdomen with a truncheon, Guirado said.

As a CaTV news crew followed the team to the locker room, police threatened both journalists and players with police dogs. When Xavier, a cameraman, raised his leg to avoid the dogs, a police officer fired a rubber bullet at his knee. Xavier was treated at a hospital and needed five days to recover and get back to work.

Guirado, who covered the game as a commentator, told CPJ that he showed the tape to police commander Avelino Novakolsky. He said that a police inquiry was opened into the incident and Xavier is awaiting its results before deciding whether to file a civil lawsuit against the police.