Supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro, clash with the police after they stormed the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 8, 2023. At least 12 journalists covering the riots reported being threatened, punched, kicked, and having their equipment broken or stolen. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Bolsonaro supporters attack, harass journalists while storming Brazil government buildings

Rio de Janeiro, January 9, 2023 – In response to attacks on members of the press by supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who stormed the country’s Congress, Federal Supreme Court, and presidential offices Sunday, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement of condemnation:

“During this critical time for Brazilian democracy, journalists have a crucial role to play in informing the public. The numerous reports of violence and intimidation against journalists covering Sunday’s riots in the capital are extremely concerning,” said Renata Neder, CPJ’s Brazil representative. “Authorities must swiftly and thoroughly investigate all attacks on the press and ensure journalists can report safely and without fear of harassment.”

At about 3 p.m. Sunday, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters raided the government facilities in a violent riot, according to multiple news reports. At least 12 journalists covering the riots, including a reporter working for The Washington Post, reported being threatened, punched, kicked, and having their equipment broken or stolen, according to multiple news reports and statements by Brazilian journalist organizations.

On Sunday night, the country’s federal government ordered an intervention in the federal district to reestablish order. A Supreme Court judge temporarily removed the federal district governor from office. Authorities have detained more than 1,000 people since the riots began, according to news reports