Brazil Condemns Arrest of Journalists and Calls for Democratic Reform in Egypt

By Dialogo
February 07, 2011

On 3 February, the Brazilian government condemned the arrest of two Brazilian journalists in Egypt and called for the political crisis in that country to be overcome through “institutional and democratic reform,” according to an official note distributed by the foreign ministry.

Brazil protested the arrest of the reporters Corban Costa, from Radio Nacional, and Gilvan Rocha, from TV Brasil, and expressed its confidence that the authorities “will take measures to guarantee the civil liberties and physical integrity of the population and of foreigners present in the country.”

In the note, the Brazilian government said that it hopes that “this moment of instability will be overcome as quickly as possible, in a context of institutional and democratic reform in Egypt.”

The official news agency Agencia Brasil reported on 3 February that the Brazilian journalists, Costa and Rocha, had been detained and blindfolded, their passports and equipment had been taken from them, and they had spent Wednesday night in a windowless room in a Cairo police station.

“It’s a horrible feeling. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Costa told Agencia Brasil, adding that he even came to fear for his life, because at one point they were put up against a wall.

The radio reporter also explained that he and his colleague were both forced to sign a document in Arabic that they did not understand, and that according to the police, requires them to return to Brazil. After being released, the journalists headed to the airport.

Journalists covering the clashes between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo have reported being the victims of persecution and intimidation.