On October 1, 2021, Jalser Renier, deputy of the state of Roraima (northern Brazil) was formally accused of being the sponsor of the kidnapping and torture of the journalist. Roman of the Angels, occurred in October 2020. The police officer in charge of the investigation, João Luiz Evangelista, said he had gathered solid evidence that the attack “had was carried out directly by the military police, in conjunction with the Legislative Assembly of Roraima and under the orders of Jalser Renier, President of the Assembly at the time of the events ”.
At the end of September 2021, the information site G1 had already revealed several interference from the deputy in the investigation. In November 2020, while still president of the Legislative Assembly, Jalser Renier allegedly threatened the state governor, Antônio Denarium, with the aim of obstructing the police investigation into the kidnapping of Romano dos Anjos. Since October 5, the deputy has been placed under house arrest with an electronic bracelet, pending judgment.
“RSF welcomes the progress of the Roraima police investigation into this sordid affair. The active participation of MP Jalser Renier in the kidnapping and torture of Romano dos Anjos is absolutely appalling, says the director of RSF’s Latin America office, Emmanuel Colombié. The preventive detention of the deputy must allow an effective and completely impartial investigation, and lead to exemplary judicial sanctions for all those responsible for the acts. The Brazilian authorities, at local and federal level, must guarantee the protection of journalists, whose information work is more vital than ever in the country ”.
On October 26, 2020, Romano dos Anjos, presenter of the channel TV Imperial had been kidnapped, kidnapped and tortured by three armed men in the region of Bom Intento, a rural area of Boa Vista, capital of the state of Roraima. Kidnapped from his home, the 40-year-old journalist was reported missing for 12 hours before being found on the outskirts of the city, covered with bruises, his left arm broken and suffering from a dislocation of his right foot. His vehicle was burnt and his wife was found tied up at the couple’s home. At the time, no suspects had been arrested.
A few days before his kidnapping, Romano dos Anjos had denounced in his show Put Bronca irregularities and corruption that plague the management of the federal budget allocated to the fight against Covid-19, according to Leiliane Matos, director of information atImperial TV. By multiplying criticism on radio and television, “Romano dos Anjos had become a stone in Jalser Renier’s shoe”, she said.
This arrest also comes within the framework of the operation ‘Pulitzer’, carried out by the police of Roraima and which revealed the existence of a true criminal organization, specialized in espionage, information and private security. , coordinated by Jalser Renier from the Legislative Assembly of Roraima and composed of members of the military police and army officers.
In a tense political context, the press is increasingly vulnerable in Brazil. On September 9, 2021, the journalist Jerry de Oliveira, community radio presenter and coordinator Northwest FM radio based in Campinas (State of São Paulo), was threatened with death by an armed man asking him to “to say no more bad things about Bolsonaro ”. He has since received other threats, some of which were posted on the Internet, placing Jerry de Oliveira in a highly vulnerable situation. Northwest FM radio is known for her regular criticism of President Bolsonaro and for her pro-human rights editorial line, which has earned her regular attacks and threats on social media, orchestrated by the conservative political class in the city of Campinas. Jerry de Oliveira lodged a complaint with the Sao Paulo State Police’s Internal Oversight Service.
The journalist denounced the threats to the Brazilian Federal Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (PPDDH). One of the suspects of intimidating Jerry de Oliveira was taken by police to the station to give evidence. Security cameras were installed at the journalist’s home and in the radio premises.
Brazil occupies 107th place out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index established by RSF in 2021.