OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR CONDEMNS
MURDER OF JOURNALIST AND POLITICAL BLOGGER IN BRAZIL
Washington D.C., April 26, 2012 − The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of Brazilian journalist and political blogger Décio Sá, which took place on April 23 in the city of São Luis, capital of the state of Maranhão.
According to reports, Sá was in a restaurant when a gunman entered the establishment and shot him several times in the back. Maranhão’s Minister of Public Safety, Aluísio Mendes, stated that the journalist’s murder was reportedly a contract killing. The Minister ordered the immediate creation of a special task force to investigate the attack and to identify the perpetrators, furthermore he said that all investigations would be expedited to avoid impunity in this case.
Sá worked as a political affairs journalist at the newspaper O Estado, and wrote a blog called Blog do Décio, through which he denounced acts of corruption. His blog had become one of the most widely read blogs in the region.
The Office of the Special Rapporteur asks the authorities to conduct a prompt and diligent investigation to establish the motives for the murder, identify and punish those responsible and to ensure that the victim’s relatives receive fair reparations from the perpetrators.
Principle 9 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression states: "The 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.
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