By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Yesterday it was confirmed that State Deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSOL) and his family had fled to Europe after receiving seven separate death threats in the past month. According to reports, the price on his head is around R$400,000 (US$230,000).
A long-time human rights activist and President of the Commission for Human Rights at Rio de Janeiro’s State Legislative Assembly, Freixo is one of the principle public figures in Rio’s fight against militias.
The death threats began in 2008 when he was president of the Parlimentary Inquiry Committee (CPI) which investigated militia activity and brought about to the arrests of around 235 people connected to paramilitary groups in the state.
Following an escalating numbers of threats on his life, and in light of the assassination of Judge Patrícia Acioli earlier this year, Freixo accepted an invitation by Amnesty International to seek refuge at an undisclosed location in Europe. He will stay there for a month while reviewing security arrangements in time for his return.
Almost a hundred people gathered outside Rio’s Legislative Assembly yesterday to demonstrate support for the exiled congressman.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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