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Journalist attacked by security guard

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - On 18 December 2008, journalist Sergio Gobetti, who works for the "O Estado de São Paulo" newspaper, was assaulted by a security guard at the National Assembly building. Gobetti was trying to enter the building to cover the Brazilian Budget Plan vote when he was approached by a security guard who claimed that he did not have his identification visible.

Congressman Chico Alencar, who was present at the time of the incident, tried to stop the confrontation.

After the journalist showed his identification, the security guard grabbed him by the neck. Images of the incident can be viewed at: .

The president of the Federal District Journalists' Union, Romário Schettino, denounced the assault, saying, "The security guard, in the presence of congressman Chico Alencar, tried to choke the journalist, in a very clear act of disrespect toward a congressman and a professional of the press."

The Assembly Social Communications Office said that the General Directorate of the Assembly has determined that the police will investigate the incident.

According to the Assembly Social Communications Office, the Investigative Police are speaking to Gobetti, police officers and witnesses and are analysing film footage of the incident.

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The use of criminal law to silence people who write about public issues is a significant problem in many countries…

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