March 27, 2018

RSF decries shooting attack on weekly in southern Brazil

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a shooting attack on Jornal dos Bairros Litoral, a weekly based in Paranaguá, in the southern state of Paraná. Although no one was injured, RSF urges the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting and to protect the weekly’s journalists.

The attack, in which a man fired four shots at the offices of Jornal dos Bairros Litoral in the early hours of yesterday, followed a series of acts of intimidation against the newspaper, which often publishes stories about local politics.

All of the media in Paraná and Brazil were the targets of this grave attack on the freedom to inform,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “The Paraná authorities must carry out an exhaustive investigation in order to identify those responsible without delay and must protect the weekly’s journalists. This kind of violation fosters a climate of fear and self-censorship and must therefore not go unpunished.

Gilberto Fernandes, the weekly’s editor, recently received threatening phone calls that were made direct to his office number. Paranaguá mayor Marcelo Roque brought three lawsuits against the newspaper in 2016 but lost each one.

Molotov cocktails were thrown at the offices of the Bandeirantes TV channel in Curitiba, the capital of Paraná, on 15 February, injuring one of the building’s security guards.

Brazil is ranked 103rd out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.