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Brazilian journalist detained at Yale University

The Yale Law School courtyard
The Yale Law School courtyard

altopower/flickr

The detention of a Brazilian journalist at Yale University was protested today by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which called the action disproportionate.

On September 26, 2013, Claudia Trevisan, a correspondent for the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo (www.estadao.com.br) in the United States, was on the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut, awaiting an interview with the chief justice of the Brazilian Supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, who had been invited to a closed-door seminar at the university.

She asked university staff and police where the judge was making his presentation. A police officer asked for her documentation and she handed over her passport. Shortly afterwards she was handcuffed and held for five hours at a police station on the university campus for alleged “trespassing.” Yale University reported that it did not plan to bring charges.

Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, expressed concerns with what he called “a disproportionate attitude of vigilance and security at the university, which in the end limits a journalist task.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added that the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of information and to the movement of journalists are serious restrictions of freedom of the press, according to the Declaration of Chapultepec.

Trevisan was released after legal assistance from the Brazilian embassy and the consulate in Hartford. She has worked for five years as correspondent in Beijing, China, where she was also director of the Foreign Correspondents Association. She said this was the first time she had faced a situation like this.

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