Brazilian photographer Edu Fortes, 27 years-old, of Grupo RAC, was attacked by two men who were setting fire to the side of the José Roberto Magalhães Teixeira highway, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, reported RAC's website. Fortes made duplicates of the photos when he was attacked.
"They punched and kicked me and when I was down on the ground they threw me over a barbed wire fence. They broke my camera against my back," he said. The photographer suffered injuries to his back, arms and head, reported the Professional Journalists Union of the State of São Paulo. The Union urged local police to identify and punish those responsible.
According to Grupo RAC, this is not the first time one of their employees has been attacked in 2011. In July, another photographer and a motorist were attacked while, ironically, reporting on the high number of vehicle theft near an airport. The thieves were caught the stolen equipment returned.
In its annual report on freedom of the press, the National Association of Newspapers reported 34 violations of freedom of expression in the Brazil between August 2010 and July 2011. Seven of the cases involved assaults, reported the newspaper O Globo.
In April, Reporters Without Borders criticized investigations into attacks on journalists in Brazil, where five journalists were killed in 2011.