Journalist receives death threats after reporting

The journalist Marcelo Hailer, who published the report Massacre: Police operation in Minas leaves 25 dead and none of them police, at Forum Magazine, last Sunday (31), started receiving death threats and LGBTphobic insults on their social networks.

In one of the threats, the internet user claims that he will trace the journalist’s address, execute him and then post the video on the networks.

“I just hope that a police officer finds you and makes you explain why there would have to be a police officer dead”, says one of the texts, which is answered by another user: “You can be sure that we will make him explain properly. And then we’ll post the video. Strength and honor”.

In another threat, a user says that rifle shots will be fired “in your face” and “in your family”. “Vagabundo, mistress of a son of a bitch bandit, disgusting homosexual, AIDS. Too bad there wasn’t a rifle shot in your family’s face, damned faggot,” says the text.

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Another user says he would like to shoot “eight shots in the face” of the journalist. “Trash! You are a disservice as a human being. Too bad I live in another city, I really wanted to shoot about 8 shots in your face. Disgusting fag. Your time will come.”

Até o momento, já foram mais de 100 ameaças nos perfis das redes sociais do jornalista, que ganharam força depois que o deputado federal Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP), filho do presidente da República, comentou a reportagem no Twitter.

“To be a successful operation, some people think they have to die as a police officer. If they lived in the real world, they would realize that the people applaud this type of operation”, said the congressman. The post was accompanied by pocket pages and profiles that are commenting on the subject and marking the journalist’s profile.

THE Forum Magazine he informed that he will take all legal measures against those responsible for the threats and that he “repudiates attacks on the practice of journalism and press freedom”.

He also stated that “today, unfortunately, violence against journalists comes from the president occupying Planalto and his sons, who fuel a network of hatred.”

Increased violence against journalists

The monitoring of press freedom violations, carried out by the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji), recorded an increase in alerts in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. From January to March of this year, 73 attacks were identified to the media, journalists, communicators and the press in general, against 53 in the first quarter of last year.

“The 38% growth reinforces the escalation of violence against communicators in the country, a fact already pointed out in other monitoring by civil society organizations. The forecast is that these numbers will be surpassed once again in 2021”, says a statement released by the organization in April this year.

According to the Report on Violence against Journalists and Press Freedom in Brazil 2020, prepared by the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the second year of the Bolsonaro government was the most violent for press professionals since the beginning of the 1990s, when the entity started the historical series.

In total, there were 428 cases of attacks, including two murders, which means an increase of 105.77% compared to 2019

“In the assessment of the National Federation of Journalists, this growth is directly linked to the Pocketnarismo, an extreme right-wing political movement led by President Jair Bolsonaro, which has repercussions in society through its followers.

There was an increase not only in general attacks, but in attacks by this group that, naturally, attacks as a form of information control.

They take place to discredit the press so that part of the population can continue to inform themselves about the Pocketnarist bubbles, places where false and/or fraudulent information is spread”, says Maria José Braga, president of FENAJ, in a statement.

Of the 428 attacks, 152 were related to behaviors that acted to discredit Brazilian journalism. Of the 152 cases, the President of the Republic was responsible for 142 episodes. In total, the retired captain was responsible for 175 records of violence against the category, about 40.89% of the total cases.

The report also found an increase in cyber-attack cases: a 280% growth in 2020 compared to the previous year, when 76 cases were registered.

*With information from Forum Magazine.

Edition: Leandro Melito

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