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Transport minister assaults journalist

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - Ronaldo Lázaro Tiradentes, a journalist of Tiradentes Radio and Television broadcast station, which is a rebroadcast station of CBN (radio station) in Manaus, was assaulted by Alfredo Nascimento, senator and Transport Minister, on 27 June 2009, in the parking lot of Manaus Airport, Amazonas.

The journalist was with his wife in a car belonging to the station when Nascimento approached them and tried to break into the car through the driver's door.

According to the journalist, Nascimento shouted at him, demanding that he open the door, saying he was a "vagabond thief". Nascimento was with his son, Gustavo Nascimento, who tried to punch the Tiradentes's wife.

The assault ended only when Tiradentes started to film the scene with his cell phone camera. He registered a complaint at the Federal Police Department of Amazonas against Nascimento and his son for intimidation and abuse of authority.

In the document presented by Tiradentes, he affirms that "as if the physical and verbal abuse were not enough, the Transport Minister, obviously abusing his power, asked the federal policemen at the airport to inspect my car. A few minutes later, two Federal Police agent said that Alfredo Nascimento had alleged that there was a gun in the car".

According to the journalist, the station had questioned some of Nascimento's campaign promises.

In an interview with ABRAJI, Jeferson Luis Rodrigues, press assistant to the Transport Minister, said that the Nascimento had filed "several lawsuits against Tiradentes" with the Department of Justice.

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