Reporters Without Borders is deeply saddened to learn that TV cameraman Santiago Ilídio Andrade died today as a result of injuries received in a clash between military police and protesters while covering a demonstration against public transport fare hikes for TV Bandeirantes on 6 February.
He was the first journalist to be killed in connection with the wave of street protests that began in Brazil last June.
Hit by large firework-style explosive device apparently thrown by one of the protesters, Andrade was taken to Rio de Janeiro’s Souza Aguiar municipal hospital in a critical condition with multiple burns and a skull fracture. He underwent a four-hour operation before dying of his injuries today.
“We appeal yet again, and with more energy than ever, to both the security forces and protesters to respect the work of journalists covering street demonstrations,” said Reporters Without Borders head of research Lucie Morillon.
“We ask the competent authorities to do everything in their power to ensure that those responsible for Andrade’s death are identified and punished, in order to end the frequent impunity in cases of attacks against journalists covering demonstrations.”
Morillon added: “The authorities must take firm measures that are commensurate with this tragedy, coming as it has shortly before the Football World Cup, which will bring many journalists to Brazil to cover both the football and the country’s social developments.”
Reporters Without Borders deplores the frequency of physical attacks on media personnel in Brazil. Since last June, at least 114 journalists have been the victims of violence – not all of it targeted.
Three journalists have been beaten by demonstrators or police since the start of 2014. One of them, EFE news agency journalist Sebastião Moreira, was injured by military police in São Paulo on 25 January.
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