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"Diário do Pará" newspaper staff harassed by military police officer

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - Photographer Marco Santos and reporter Adriana Robalo, of the "Diário do Pará" newspaper, were harassed by a military police officer at the São Braz Police Department, in Belém, Pará, on 20 June 2009. Santos and Robalo were covering the statement being given by military police officer Francisco Canindé da Paixão Ribeiro, who fired seven gunshots at crime suspect Bruno Ricardo Bezerra Gomes.

In an interview with ABRAJI, Santos said that a military police officer approached him when he noticed that photographs were being taken of the accused man. "He handled my camera and fingered his gun in an intimidating manner. He said that the accused man had not authorised the pictures," the photographer said.

The photographer filed a complaint at Police Division 8, in Icoaraci, Belém.

Canindé was with Alberto de Araújo, another military police officer, both of whom are suspected of homicide. In an official statement, the Pará Military Police's Public Relations Department said: "(. . .) The military is completely opposed to any actions against freedom of the press. As such, the military will immediately initiate disciplinary procedures to investigate the possibility of inappropriate behaviour by its staff."

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