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Transportation minister assaults journalist

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 27 June 2009, journalist Ronaldo Lázaro Tiradentes, of the Rádio e Televisão Tiradentes network, which relays the CBN national radio station, was assaulted by Transportation Minister Alfredo Nascimento and his son, Gustavo Nascimento. The incident took place in Manaus, the capital city of Amazonas state.

The journalist was sitting with his wife in a vehicle owned by the radio station at the Eduardo Gomes Airport when he was identified by the minister. The minister began to insult him and attempted to hit him, while his son managed to get inside the car through a window and began assaulting the journalist's wife. The assault ended when the journalist started recording the incident with the camera on his mobile phone.

In the report sent to the National Journalists' Federation (FENAJ), Tiradentes said the assault was linked to the station's criticism of the minister over his failure to fulfill promises made during his campaign. Nascimento was elected as a senator but left his position to become a government minister.

The Transportation Ministry released a statement in which it is said that Tiradentes issued a death threat against Nascimento and that the minister has had to seek police protection.

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