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Murder of radio journalist in Alagoas still unsolved; IAPA calls for action

(IAPA/IFEX) - The following is a 23 April 2008 IAPA press release:

IAPA calls for punishment in murder of Brazilian journalist

MIAMI, Florida (April 23, 2008) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today called on newspaper and magazine readers in the Americas to sign a public letter to Brazil's President Luiz Inácio da Silva urging him to act to solve the murder of radio commentator Jorge Lourenço dos Santos, killed on July 11, 2004 in Santana do Ipanema in the Brazilian state of Alagoas, reminding him also that numerous suspects in other cases of murders of journalists remain free and seven other cases still have not been solved.

There are indications that the death of the commentator for Creativa FM radio station may be linked to his comments about, and criticisms of, local politicians and prominent figures. There have been no arrests and there are suspicions of irregularities having been committed in the investigation.

In recent years a total of 22 Brazilian journalists have been murdered. The courts have convicted 33 perpetrators of some of these crimes, but there are another 23 suspects who have not been detained, and seven unsolved cases. The IAPA has gone before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to denounce the fact that those seven murders and/or disappearances of Brazilian journalists have gone unpunished.

For five years now, through ads in more than 380 newspapers throughout the Western Hemisphere, the IAPA has been inviting readers to go to its Web site http://www.impunidad.com and join the campaign titled "Let's Put an End to Impunity" surrounding crimes against journalists. Since the campaign was launched some 10,000 signatures have been gathered and sent to the relevant authorities, urging more zeal in conducting investigations and in meting out due punishment.

The initiative is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Updates the dos Santos case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/71317

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