PPF concerned over violence against journalists in Brazil

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PPF concerned over violence against journalists in Brazil

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), in a letter to Michel Temer, President of Brazil has expressed concern over the ongoing threats and violence against journalists during the election campaign in Brazil.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali has condemned such attacks and urged Brazilian presidential candidates to stop violence against journalists and allow them to full fill their journalistic duties without any fear of repercussions.

According to Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI), number of reporters were threatened, mistreated and physically assaulted while covering the elections.

Patricia Campos Mello, reporter of Folha de Sao Paulo, received number of threats online, two threatening calls, while her Whats App account was also hacked after she covered a story on an alleged campaign of businessmen, who helped presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro to spread fake news to millions of Brazilians through Whats App.

Mauro Paulino, executive director of Datafolha (linked to Folha de Sao Paulo) also received threats through a messaging app and at home. Supporters of Bolsonaro made a systematic attack on one of their Whats App numbers, which received 220,000 messages in four days, which made it impossible for the journalists to track the follow up messages by its readers, reported newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

The newspaper on October 23, asked the Superior Electoral Court to demand the formation of an investigation by the Federal Police to limit its considerations regarding “indications of an orchestrated action with an attempt to constrain freedom of the press.”

Abraji recorded 141 cases of violence against journalists during the elections. Most of the threats were received from the supporters of Bolsonaro while some were attributed from the supporters of the Workers Party (PT).

In March, unidentified attackers opened fire on a bus carrying 28 reporters who were covering a PT event, nobody was injured in the attack. Although there records of PT supporters threatening and assaulting reporters.