Protests and anti-press violence highlight need for journalist safety
New York, June 9, 2014–As journalists gather in Brazil to cover the FIFA World Cup, one of the most watched sports events in the world, the Committee to Protect Journalists released the Portuguese version of its journalist security guide. The guide covers a wide variety of safety practices for journalists, from covering violent conflicts to basic preparedness and digital security.
“With the possibility of intensified protests during the World Cup, Brazilian and international journalists need to know how to protect themselves,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “Dozens of reporters covering street demonstrations have been detained, attacked, or harassed in the past year. With this guide, we want to help reporters assess and avoid risks so they can be safe while informing the public on important issues.”
Twenty-nine journalists have been killed in Brazil in direct relation to their work since CPJ began keeping records in 1992. One died in February from injuries sustained while covering a public demonstration.
On May 6, CPJ released a comprehensive report on the press freedom climate in Brazil. The report examined Brazil’s record on impunity in journalist murders; violence against journalists; censorship by the courts; and Internet freedom.
CPJ board member María Teresa Ronderos; Ricardo Uceda, member of the advisory group to CPJ’s Americas program; and Lauría met with President Dilma Rousseff on May 6 to present the findings of CPJ’s special report.
“The federal government is fully committed to continue fighting against impunity in cases of killed journalists,” Rousseff told the CPJ delegation. CPJ research shows that at least 10 journalists have been murdered in direct reprisal for their work since Rousseff came to power at the start of 2011, while five others were murdered in unclear circumstances. In 2014, Brazil appeared on CPJ’s annual Impunity Index for the fourth consecutive year.
Rousseff also said her administration will implement a mechanism to prevent deadly attacks, protect journalists under imminent risk, and support legislative efforts to federalize crimes against freedom of expression.
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