Freedom of Expression

Press Release R86/12






Washington, D.C, July 11, 2012 - The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of the sports journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira, which took place on July 5 in Goiania, capital city of Goiás state, in Brazil.


According to the information received, a motorcyclist shot the journalist several times as he was coming out of the broadcast station where worked, Rádio Jornal 820. According to this information, Valério Luz was considered a controversial and critical figure within the sports journalism community of his region. Because of his commentary, he was not allowed to enter the stadium of a local soccer team and he was reported to have recently received death threats. Luiz also worked at the PUC-TV station. Police authorities in Goiás launched an immediate investigation.


The Office of the Special Rapporteur calls upon the Brazilian authorities to adopt all necessary measures to avoid the repetition of these types of crimes, identify and punish all the direct perpetrators and masterminds, and to demand that they provide adequate reparations to the victim’s next of kin.


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.