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Brazil20 September 2005

State governor threatens journalist

Reporters Without Borders today deplored threats by Tocantins state governor Marcelo Miranda to journalist Sandra Miranda de Oliveira Silva, owner and columnist of the weekly Primeira Pagina, which has published reports on corruption in Miranda’s administration.

“We are shocked that this latest attack on press freedom in Brazil comes from a top official and hope this will not prevent a serious enquiry into the incident,” it said.

Miranda warned the journalist’s brother, José Valdemir Miranda, himself a journalist, at an official ceremony on 30 August, that he would “not allow publication of any more news attacking my family” and that “if the law does not stop it, I will take steps of my own to do so.”

Miranda de Oliveira Silva also told Reporters Without Borders that unidentified people had tried to set fire to her house on 17 May and that her husband Reynaldo had been trailed by a suspicious van while walking near their home.

She said the attacks were probably in response to the independent line of Primeira Pagina and its regular investigation and criticism of Miranda’s administration, including suggestions last December that the governor and his wife had “mysterious relatives” and that the state payroll was padded out with non-existent employees. She has filed a legal complaint against Miranda.

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