Murder of Brazilian journalist deplored by UNESCO chief

25 May 2007

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending freedom of the press today condemned the murder of a Brazilian journalist who was gunned down earlier this month by unidentified men.

Luiz Carlos Barbon Filho, 37, who contributed to the media outlets Radio Porto FM, Jornal do Porto and JC Regional, was shot dead on 5 May while sitting at a bar in Porto Ferreira, about 200 kilometres from São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city.

In 2003, Mr. Barbon Filho uncovered a child prostitution ring in which four local businessmen and five city officials were implicated, and a national journalism award that year ranked him a finalist in honour of his investigative reports.

In a statement released at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura deplored the murder and called on Brazilian authorities to do their utmost to bring the perpetrators – and those people who hired them – to justice.

“This vicious act targets not only the man, but also freedom of expression, a basic human right,” Mr. Matsuura said.

 

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