Last night (6), four men invaded the radio studio in the municipality of Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, in the interior of Pernambuco, and threatened a broadcaster who had criticized the health policy of President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party).
Radio broadcaster Júnior Albuquerque, who heads a political debate program on Rádio Comunidade FM, said he was verbally assaulted by the group that claims to be the president’s defender.
The men, who did not have their names revealed, broke into the studio during the program break. An alternate city councilor had just been interviewed. There was no physical aggression. “Now, call the people of genocide here in my face,” said one of them.
The men were removed from the scene by people working on the radio.
The broadcaster said that three weeks ago he had said during the program that Bolsonaro voters should start criticizing the federal government’s health policy. In his comment, he added that, in the future, history would show that bolsonaristas are colluding with the deaths resulting from Covid-19.
Pernambuco faces a collapse in the health system. According to data from the state government, 97% of ICUs for patients with Covid-19 symptoms are occupied.
“After the criticism, comrades of the radio started to receive messages through WhatsApp. They call themselves bolsonaristas, they are part of the right here in the municipality ”, says Albuquerque.
Moments after the invasion, the broadcaster filed a complaint at the police station. The Civil Police opened an investigation to investigate the case.
Albuquerque, who is also the press secretary in the neighboring municipality of Taquaritinga do Norte (PE), has been in charge of the political debate program for three years.
Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, with just over 100 thousand inhabitants, was the only city in Pernambuco that gave Bolsonaro victory in the second round of the 2018 presidential election.
In a note, ABI (Brazilian Press Association) condemned the invasion of the radio.
“It is necessary to put a stop to this criminal behavior. Democracy presupposes the right to criticism and it is the duty of the authorities to guarantee the exercise of that right. It is necessary that Bolsonaro not only stops stimulating violence against journalists, but explicitly condemns them. Otherwise, you will be accused of complicity. “
Asserpe (Association of Radio and Television Companies of Pernambuco), in a note, said it “expects a response to the height due to the seriousness of the incident by the authorities investigating the case”.
Sinjope (Union of Professional Journalists of Pernambuco) also criticized the episode.
“Sinjope adamantly reproaches any attack on freedom of the press and expects the case to be investigated by the State’s police authorities. Freedom of the press is fundamental to maintaining democracy.”