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Police abuse against journalists during Pope's visit to Brazil

Reporters Without Borders calls on Rio de Janeiro state governor Sérgio Cabral and Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes to deploy all appropriate resources to investigate police abuses against journalists during protests on 22 July against the public funds spent on Pope Francis' visit.

The worst case of violence involved Yasuyoshi Chiba, a Japanese photographer working for Agence France-Presse, who sustained serious facial injuries from a military policeman's baton blows.

Reporters Without Borders also deplores the fact that Felipe Peçanha and Felipe Assis, two alternative journalists with the Mídia Ninja movement, were detained for two hours in the district of Catete, while Marcelo Carnaval, a photographer with the national daily O Globo, was injured when a stone was thrown at his head.

“The 'Brazil Spring' protests in June already exposed the incredible brutality of certain police forces, especially in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“More than two thirds of the cases of violence against journalists in June were attributable to members of the Military Police. This calls for an investigation and sanctions. It also calls for a complete overhaul of institutions that are out of control and unable to distinguish between keeping order and repression.”

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