Rio Summit participant denied entry in Brazil
A journalist and member of Friends of the Earth Mozambique, Jeremias Vunjanhe, was denied entry at the airport of Rio de Janeiro on June 13, despite carrying a valid visa and a valid accreditation at the UN Rio+20 Summit as part of Friends of the Earth International delegation.
Mr Vunjanhe was expected to expose the negative impacts of Brazilian mining corporation Vale at the Peoples Summit, a parallel event of the UN Rio+20 Summit. Vale is one of the official sponsors of the UN Summit. The activist did not get any explanation as to why he was sent back to Mozambique.
Friends of the Earth Mozambique supported hundreds of Mozambican families which were resettled by Brazilian company Vale in the Moatize district and carried out demonstrations in recent months to reclaim their rights.
While Friends of the Earth International has received a commitment from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Jeremias will be brought back to Rio this Monday, we demand a public explanation and excuses from the Brazilian government.
In Rio de Janeiro, Friends of the Earth International is campaigning against the growing influence of big corporations and business lobby groups within the UN, through government delegations, and in multilateral negotiations. We are requesting a clear public statement from the UN that its priority is to serve the public interest and not business interests, and a commitment to take concrete steps that will limit industry's influence in UN decision-making processes.
We believe that as a host country Brazil should ensure that the freedom of expression prevails over the interests of corporations and guarantee the right of people to protest.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
The contact details of key spokespeople from FoEI and FoEI groups, as well as media officers, is available on http://www.foei.org/en/media/resources-for-journalists/rio-foei-experts-list/view
Lucia Ortiz, Economic Justice International Program Coordinator, Friends of the Earth International (in Brazil)
Tel: + 55 51 98 41 87 07 or +55 21 6968 7826 or email lucia [at] natbrasil.org.br
Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International
Tel: +55 21 69 68 78 24 (Brazilian cell from June 15-23 only) or +234 803 727 4395 (Nigerian cell), or email Nnimmo [at] eraction.org
Martin Drago, FoEI´s Food Sovereignty Program Co-coordinator
Tel: (+55 21) 8031 9324 or email martin.drago [at] redes.org.uy
Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International coordinator of the Forest and Biodiversity Program
(+55 21) 6968 7885 or email isaac [at] coecoceiba.org
Anabela Lemos, coordinator of Friends of the Earth Mozambique
+258 84 31 06 010 or email anabela [at] ja.org.mz
NOTES TO EDITORS
For information about the campaign and other activities of Friends of the Earth International in Rio Janeiro, please refer to our website http://www.foei.org