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Photographer arrested on orders from police commissioner

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 10 November 2008, Police Commissioner Ademir Braz de Souza ordered the arrest of Paulo Schmidt, a photographer for Cidade AM radio station, when he was taking pictures of an automobile accident in the city of Brusque, Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil.

According to Schmidt, the commissioner struck his equipment, claiming that he was not allowed to photograph the victims. When Schmidt continued working, Braz de Souza issued an order for his arrest. Schmidt was taken to the local police station by a group of police officers. He was released one hour later.

Braz de Souza said the photographer was detained because one of the victims of the accident, an official in the local police station, had requested that no pictures be taken and Schmidt had disregarded this request. Schmidt was arrested for showing contempt towards an authority. The photographer said the victim was in no condition to request anything as she was hurt and was receiving medical attention.

Schmidt filed an abuse of authority complaint at the local police station.

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