Photojournalist brutally detained while covering plane crash

JULY 18, 2007

Rogério Cassimiro, Folha de São Paulo

São Paulo police brutally detained Cassimiro, a photojournalist for the daily Folha de São Paulo, and held him for five hours after he photographed the scene a plane crash that occurred the day before.

Cassimiro told CPJ that he was shooting rescue workers at the scene of the crash in the morning when an unidentified fireman asked him to leave an unrestricted area. After walking to a second unrestricted zone a little farther from other photographers, Cassimiro said military police officer Maurício de Araújo approached him and tried to seize his camera. According to Cassimiro, Officer De Araújo then took him to a nearby street, threw him onto the ground, twisted his arm and handcuffed him before driving him to a police station. Cassimiro said he was held at São Paulo’s 27th police precinct from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The police stated that the arresting officer was forced to use “moderate force” after the photographer entered a blocked perimeter and refused to obey orders to leave, reported the local press.

Cassimiro pressed charges against Officer De Araújo for police brutality, the journalist told CPJ.