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Reporter shot, wounded while investigating organised crime in Brasilia suburb

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is concerned about the attack upon Amaury Ribeiro Junior, a crime reporter with the national daily "Correio Braziliense", who was hospitalised on 19 September 2007 after being shot in the stomach while outside a bar on a street in the Brasilia suburb of Cidade Occidental, where he had gone to cover organised crime.

"We do not yet know if Ribeiro was personally targeted or if he was the victim of random criminal violence, but he was in the area to investigate drug trafficking," the press freedom organisation said. "We call for a swift and thorough investigation to identify those responsible for this murder attempt."

The gunmen who shot Ribeiro have not been identified and the police have not made any arrests.

Ribeiro, who is from the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, has written many stories for "Correio Braziliense" about violence and drug trafficking in the Brasilia area. He had been investigating in Cidade Occidental for more than a month, interviewing youths linked to gangs and families who had been the victims of violence. Because of threats, he was using a car without "Correio Braziliense" or other press markings.

"Correio Braziliense"'s recent articles about violence in the capital and surrounding region have elicited promises of action from the municipal authorities. The federal government has also announced that the police will be reinforced in the region.

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