Brazilian court forces government to pay journalist who was assaulted 10 years ago

By Maira Magro

A Brazilian federal court ordered the federal government to pay more than $28,000 in "moral damages" to a freelance photographer who, 10 years ago, was physically and verbally assaulted by soldiers during an end-of-the-year party at the Copacabana fort in Rio de Janeiro.

The attack occurred after the journalist photographed the soldier assaulting another journalist attempting to photograph a falling awning, explained Estadão. The government alleged there was no evidence of violence and that the soldiers had acted in "strict compliance with their legal obligations."

Ten years later, the court declared that the attack was "amply documented." Initially, the journalist had been awarded more than $56,000, but that was ruled excessive.

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.