Freedom of Expression

Press Release R88/15

Office of the Special Rapporteur Condemns New Killing of Journalist in Brazil 

August 10, 2015


Washington, D.C. – The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the killing of journalist Gleydson Carvalho on August 6 in the town of Camocim, state of Ceara, northeast of Brazil. The Office expresses its concern and urges the Brazilian authorities to act promptly and timely to clarify the motive of the crime and to identify and punish the perpetrators.


This is the fourth journalist killed in Brazil this year, after the murder of Djalma Santos da Conceição in Bahia, Evany José Metzker in Minas Gerais and Gerardo Servián in Mato Grosso do Sul. This situation is of great concern for the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression.


According to the available information, Carvalho was the general director of Rádio Libertade FM 90.3 station, he had a show in which he reported on local political corruption and had been threatened to death previously. On Thursday after midday, while Carvalho was on air, two persons went into the booth, shot him on his head and fled. Press reports say the Military Police [Polícia Militar] captured two alleged accomplices of the killing.


The Office of the Special Rapporteur considers it essential for the State to clarify the crime motive, identify, prosecute and punish the perpetrators and masterminds, and adopt fair measures of reparation for the victim's family. The Office of the Special Rapporteur insists once more that the State needs to create special investigative bodies and protocols, as well as guarantee the effective inclusion of those who are being threatened because of their work in journalism in protection mechanisms designed to ensure their safety.


Principle 9 of the IACHR Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression states: "[t]he murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation."


The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression was created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to encourage the defense of the right to freedom of thought and expression in the hemisphere, given the fundamental role this right plays in consolidating and developing the democratic system.