TV crew arrested while investigating hospital conditions in northern Brazil

Guilherme Mendes, Carlos Batista, and Edmilson Luz for TV Liberal were arrested in the city of Acará, Pará, while reporting on complaints by users at a local health clinic, Portal ORM reports.

The crew were kept in jail for half an hour, accused of trespassing, and were only freed after the clinic’s director declined to press charges. According to another Portal ORM report, the arrest order came from the mayor, Francisca Martins, though she denies any involvement.

TV Liberal is affiliated with Brazil’s largest media company, Rede Globo, and sent its team to investigate complaints from citizens about unsanitary conditions and a lack of doctors and supplies at Acará's public hospital.

The Pará Journalists’ Syndicate said the incident was “totally unacceptable, as it was an attack on society as a whole by violating freedom of expression and the right to information.”

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.

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