Brazil reaffirms commitment to journalists' safety in letter to CPJ

By Isabela Fraga

After Brazil initially objected to the United Nations' Action Plan to improve journalists' safety and fight impunity, Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazilian representative at the United Nations, sent a letter to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) saying that the country supports the program, CPJ said on Wednesday, June 13.

In the letter (see PDF), dated May 31, Viotti said that "Brazil supports the efforts of UNESCO for working on this issue in greater depth" and reaffirmed the country's support for protecting journalists.

The plan would include the protection of journalists in conflict-free areas, would help member countries to pass laws for prosecuting suspects, and it would develop a mechanism for evaluating journalist security.

During the 10th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas, Guy Berger, director of UNESCO's Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, said the plan is justified because the cases of violence against journalists happen in places where reporters are not seen as people that offer a service to society.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.