At least 17 journalists in Brazil for the World Cup have been attacked since the event began, the Inter American Press Association said Thursday, urging authorities to investigate the incidents.
The Miami-based group said officials must remain vigilant to acts of violence that diminish attempts to gather information and report on protest demonstrations by people opposed to playing the matches in Brazil while millions of people still struggle with poverty in the country.
"We condemn and are concerned at the fact that while carrying out their work, dozens of journalists have been beaten and restricted from doing their job, in most cases by security forces," said Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA committee on press freedom.
The Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association said that since protests began in May 2013, more than 190 cases of violence against journalists have been reported, with 15 of the most recent 17 involving military police using excessive force against reporters.
"We regret that these aggressive actions are continuing despite measures being adopted by press organizations and official statements ratifying the principle of non-violence against the press," Paolillo said.
In the week since the World Cup began, journalists were attacked in Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. They worked for CNN, Reuters, The Associated Press and other news groups. Several were freelancers.