08.10.2002 -

UNESCO Expresses Concern at Murder of Brazilian Journalist

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today expressed grave concern about news of the murder of yet another journalist, Domingos Savio Brandão Lima Junior, owner, publisher and columnist of the daily Folha do Estado, in Cuiaba, Brazil. He was shot near his newspapers's new offices, currently under construction, on 30 September.

Although the identity of his killers and motives have not been determined, it is believed that the murder may have resulted from his professional work. Mr Brandão's newspaper attributed his death to its extensive coverage of drug trafficking, illegal gambling and corruption, but also mentioned that he was a businessman who owned construction and publishing companies.

Mr Brandão is the second journalist to have been murdered in Brazil in four months, following the death of investigative reporter Tim Lopes, who was killed in June in Rio de Janeiro.

The Director-General said: "This tragic death, further highlights the need to protect media professionals and to take rapid steps to bring those responsible for such acts to justice."

"Like most professional media organizations have done over the last few years, and in line with the resolution voted unanimously by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1997, I call on all member states to take all possible measures to prevent such crimes, to investigate them and punish their perpetrators", Mr Matsuura declared.

According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), ten journalists have been killed in Brazil during the last 10 years. Most of these crimes remain unpunished, as is the case in many other countries.




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