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Armed men buy 30,000 copies of newspaper to obstruct its circulation

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - On 28 September 2008, a group of armed men bought 30,000 copies of the "Extra" newspaper in the Baixada Fluminese region of Rio de Janeiro state, in order to stop the newspaper from reaching the public. The newspaper's front page carried a story entitled, "Campaigning members of congress lie in order to safeguard salary of R$13,000 [approx. US$6,800]." The article alleged that members of congress who are candidates in upcoming municipal elections in Brasil, scheduled for 5 October, have been absent from their congressional work in Rio de Janeiro and have fabricated other commitments as reasons for their absences in order to avoid having their salaries reduced.

ABRAJI has published a statement outlining its opinion that the buying of the copies of "Extra" newspaper constitutes a threat to freedom of expression and democracy in Brazil. The organisation calls on the authorities to investigate the incident (statement, in Portuguese only: http://www.abraji.org.br/?id=90&id_noticia=752 ).

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