Brazilian senator takes journalist's tape recorder, erases audio

Senator Roberto Requião (PMDB) forcefully took Radio Bandeirantes reporter Victor Boyadjian’s tape recorder after being asked about his $15,000 a month pension, O Globo reports. He receives the pension as the former governor of Paraná, a post from which he resigned to run for the Senate.

The equipment was returned soon after, but the recordings were erased, Terra explains. On his Twitter account, Requião said “I ended up with the insolent provocateur’s recorder. So I decided to delete it.”

The National Newspaper Association, the Federal District Journalists’ Syndicate, and the Senate press corps condemned the senator’s actions. “Only during the dictatorship did I ever witness anything as ridiculous as this,” said journalist Fábio Marçal, president of the Senate press corps, quoted by O Estado de S. Paulo.

This is becoming a pattern for Requião: In 2004, he took a Jornal de Londrina reporter’s tape recorder and twisted the journalist's thumb when asked about his relationship with then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

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.