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Abraji urges investigation into killing of journalist in Maranhão

(Abraji/IFEX) - The Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (Abraji) urges the state authorities to investigate the murder of journalist Décio Sá. He was shot six times while having dinner in a restaurant in São Luiz, the capital of the state of Maranhão, in the Northeast of Brazil, on the evening of 23 April 2012. He was the fourth journalist killed in Brazil this year.

Décio Sá had worked for the newspaper "O Estado do Maranhão", owned by the family of José Sarney, president of the Federal Senate, and ran a blog about politics. He had a wife and an eight-year-old son.

Abraji is concerned with the increasing violence against journalists in Brazil. The association requests that the case be solved quickly. Besides leading to punishing the killers, the investigation must clarify the motive for the crime and whether it was related to Sá's work as a journalist. Crimes aimed to silence journalists are a serious attack on freedom of expression.

According to International News Safety Institute (INSI), Brazil was the 8th most dangerous country for journalists in 2011. The country now occupies the second position in the 2012 ranking.

In the latest Impunity Index organized by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), released this month, Brazil has the 11th worst rating of impunity in crimes against journalists.

In March, the Brazilian government decided not to support the approval of a plan discussed in September 2011 by UN aimed to protect journalists around the world. Because of the move, in consonance with India, Pakistan, Cuba and Venezuela, the plan cannot be approved until the next UNESCO meeting in 2013.
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