IFJ Demands Increased Protection for Brazilian Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on Brazilian authorities to ensure the safety of journalists covering public demonstrations following the fatal injuries inflicted on cameraman Santiago Ilídio Andrade.

According to media reports, doctors yesterday declared Andrade to be brain dead. Andrade, who worked for the television network Bandeirantes, had been in a coma after being hit in the head by an explosive device last week while filming clashes between protesters and police in Rio de Janeiro. Reports say police have arrested a protester in connection with the incident, but the man said he had held the explosive device, but denied throwing it.

The IFJ has called for a thorough investigation into the incident, while also appealing to the country's relevant authorities to improve safety conditions for media personnel.  

"We express our deep sadness and solidarity with our colleagues in Brazil following the news about Santiago Ilídio Andrade," said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. "We urge Brazilian authorities to carry out an immediate and comprehensive investigation into the incident and to ensure those responsible are brought to justice."

"As the World Cup approaches, we also appeal to the country's authorities to learn from the mistakes of last year's riots, when many journalists were attacked or arrested, and to make every effort to ensure that journalists can safely cover demonstrations and press freedom and freedom of expression in the country are upheld."

The IFJ has also urged media companies in Brazil to uphold their responsibility to look after the welfare of their journalists.

"We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Santiago Ilídio Andrade," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "We urge media companies in Brazil to ensure that the safety of their journalists is protected at all times."

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries