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Macapá TV station target of arson attack

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - The TV Marco Zero building in Macapá, northern Brazil, was attacked by three men on the night of 10 September 2010. According to a statement by the TV station, the men subjugated a security guard and entered the building, announcing a holdup. They assaulted the employees, took one of the directors as a hostage and destroyed furniture and objects. After that, they set a room and some documents on fire.

According to TV Marco Zero, the attackers told the employees that journalism should not get involved with politics. An employee of the Regional Electoral Court of Amapá, who prefers to remain anonymous, was also inside the building and was also reportedly treated violently. The three owners of TV Marco Zero are candidates in the 2010 elections.

The police of Amapá has opened an investigation. Officers from the technical-scientific police conducted an inspection and found that no property was taken.

In an interview with the website Terra, broadcaster Gilvan Barbosa said that he believes his program was the main target of what he called the "attack". He was not inside the building at the time of the incident, but he said that he has been receiving threats for 20 days, and that on 10 September, shortly before his program, he received a call asking him not to speak about politics.

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