Murder triggers' deadly crisis' warning for Brazil

Press freedom in Brazil is facing a “deadly crisis” following the murder of photojournalist Luis Antonio da Costa, the International Federation of Journalists has warned.

He is the fourth journalist to be murdered in the last two months.

There are increasing concerns that journalists are deliberately being targeted because of their work.

Da Costa, a reporter for the magazine Epoca, was shot on 23 July by a gunman in Sao Paulo. He had been reporting on mass protests demanding that the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva provide more public housing.

Aidan White, IFJ general secretary, said: “This is the latest in a murderous chain of events that is creating a deadly crisis for press freedom in Brazil. President Lula must lead the way in taking action to ensure the killers are found and brought to justice.”

Other victims are Melyssa Martins Correia, cultural supplement editor of Oeste Noticias in Sao Paulo, Edgar Pereira de Oliveira, the owner of the weekly Boca do Povo in Campo Grande and Nicanor Linhares Batista, the owner Radio Vale do Jaguaribe in the northeastern state of Cear·.

“These killings have made Brazil one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists,” said White.

“It is time for the authorities to make it clear that they will not tolerate any further acts of violence or intimidation against reports and media.”

The IFJ has also called for the Ukrainian government to investigate the attack against a journalist in Kiev.

Oleg Eltsov, editor-in-chief and investigative journalist for the internetbased Ukraine Criminality, was attacked as he left his apartment. The attackers assaulted him with an electric prodding device and a 10 kg metal tube, causing him to be hospitalized.

By Mary Stevens

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