Surge in anti-press violence reported in Brazil

Protesters marched during an anti-government demonstration in Copacabana near where Pope Francis attended the Via Crucis on Copacabana Beach on July 26, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Protest leaders said the demonstration was calling for an end to corruption and better public services in the country.</p>

Protesters marched during an anti-government demonstration in Copacabana near where Pope Francis attended the Via Crucis on Copacabana Beach on July 26, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Protest leaders said the demonstration was calling for an end to corruption and better public services in the country.

Anti-press violence rose nearly threefold in Brazil in 2013 as reporters covered massive street protests over substandard public services and endemic corruption, a broadcast media report said Monday.

"This is one of the most violent years for the press in this country," Daniel Slaviero, president of the Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters (ABERT), said as he unveiled a report on the assaults against journalists.

So far this year, five reporters have been killed in the country, compared with six in 2012, according to ABERT.

And 136 cases of anti-press violence were recorded, compared with 51 for the whole of 2012, it added.

Most of the assaults occurred during the mass demonstrations that brought more than one million angry Brazilians onto the streets in June.

Slaviero blamed the increased violence on a minority of press opponents and on police who not cracked down on demonstrators but also targeted reporters covering the protests.