DEFAULT
Brazil's Federal Police seize journalist's equipment
23 May 2013
BY RAFAEL SPULDAR

Brazil’s Federal Police seized a journalist’s equipment – including his computer – during an operation to remove indians from a farm in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The seizure was decried as illegal by the reporter’s employer, one of the country’s most prominent aid agencies aimed at indigenous peoples, Rafael Spuldar reports.

Coat_of_arms_of_the_Brazilian_Federal_Police.svgRuy Sposati, who works for the Indigenist Missionary Consel (Conselho Indigenista Missionário, CIMI), was covering a land repossession operation carried out by the Federal Police in the city of Sidrolândia on Saturday May 18th.

During the operation, Federal Police official Alcídio de Souza Araújo ordered the seizure of the reporter’s equipment — a laptop computer, an audio recorder and camera lenses.

The confiscation took place without a warrant or any explanation, an act regarded as illegal by the journalist’s employer. When told that Sposati worked for CIMI, Araújo said he had never heard of the organization. A video recording of the action was posted on YouTube.

CIMI is affiliated to the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil. It monitors and aids the country’s many indigenous peoples.


Full Coverage: Brazil | Today on Index: Birthday wishes for Bassel Khartabil | Vietnamese activists appeal sentences | Free expression in the news

Index on Censorship Events
Caught in the web: how free are we online? June 10, 2013
The internet: free open space, wild wild west, or totalitarian state? However you view the web, in today’s world it is bringing both opportunities and threats for free expression. More >>>


CIMI filed complaints against Araújo with the Ministry of Justice, the Federal Public Ministry  and the Federal Police’s Magistracy. According to CIMI’s attorney Adelar Cupsinski, this is a case of misuse of authority.

A public statement by CIMI denounced the “militarization” surrounding events related to the indigenous peoples’ struggle for rights in Brazil.

“The institutionalization of this practice is a brutal attempt against a journalist’s professional duty, the social organizations’ freedom and, even more, the democratic and law-ruled relations in our society”, says the statement.

Federal Police says an inquiry about the case is already open. Araújo is expected to present a report justifying his acts.

2 responses to “Brazil’s Federal Police seize journalist’s equipment”

  1. […] Coverage: Ukraine | Today on Index: Brazil’s Federal Police seize journalist’s equipment | Birthday wishes for Bassel Khartabil | Vietnamese activists appeal sentences | Free expression in […]

  2. […] BRAZIL Brazil’s Federal Police seize journalist’s equipment Brazil’s Federal Police seized a journalist’s equipment – including his computer – during an operation to remove indians from a farm in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The seizure was decried as illegal by the reporter’s employer, one of the country’s most prominent aid agencies aimed at indigenous peoples, Rafael Spuldar reports. (Index on Censorship) […]

Index logo white

Join us to protect and promote freedom of speech in the UK and across the world.
Since 1972, Index on Censorship has been leading the campaign for free expression.
Our award-winning magazine originally provided the platform for the untold stories of dissidents and resistance from behind the Iron Curtain and is now a home for some of the greatest campaigning writers of our age.
Journalistic freedom, artistic expression, the right to protest, the right to speak your mind, wherever you live.  These are the founding principles of Index on Censorship.
So join us, by subscribing to our newsletter or making a donation, to use your voice to ensure that everyone else can be heard too.
Go to the Index on Censorship home page