Brazils democratic institutions are under attack. Since taking office, the Jair Bolsonaro administration, helped by its allies on the far right, has systematically undermined cultural, scientific and educational institutions in the country, as well as the press.
Early on, prominent members of Bolsonaros political party started a campaign to encourage university and high school students to covertly film their teachers and denounce them for ideological indoctrination. This persecution campaign, ominously called School Without Party, created a sense of intimidation and fear in educational institutions in a country barely three decades out of an oppressive military regime. Last month, Bolsonaro suggested that the state should censor textbooks to promote conservative values.
The Bolsonaro administration has made it clear it will not tolerate deviation from its ultra-conservative politics and worldview. Last year the administration fired the marketing director of Banco do Brasil, Delano Valentim, for creating an ad campaign promoting diversity and inclusion, which was then censored by the government. Later that year, as Brazils Amazon forest burned at an alarming rate, Bolsonaros administration retaliated against scientists who dared to present facts. Ricardo Galvo, the former director of Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), was removed from his post for releasing satellite data on deforestation in the Amazon.
The government is also dangerously hostile to the media. On 21 January this year, the federal prosecutors office opened a baseless investigation into the American journalist Glenn Greenwald and his team for participating in an alleged conspiracy to hack the cellphone of Brazilian authorities. The prosecution, a clear attack on freedom of the press, was a response to a series of exposs that Greenwald and the Intercept published concerning possible corruption in Bolsonaros inner circle.
This is not an isolated case. Government officials throughout the country, from regional courts to the military police, have taken it upon themselves to ideologically defend Bolsonaro and curtail free expression. In 2019 alone, there were 208 reported attacks on media and journalists in Brazil.
On 16 January, Bolsonaro and the then special secretary for culture, Roberto Alvim, filmed a joint broadcast that laid out their ideological plans for the country. They praised the conservative turn and the resumption of culture in the country. The next day, Alvim went further: during a video segment to announce a new national arts award, he made apparent allusions to Nazi principles and lifted phrases from the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Domestic outrage and international condemnation caused Alvim to step down. But Alvim was merely giving voice to Bolsonaros far-right political project, which continues in full force: a continuous affront to freedom of expression, justified in the name of national culture. Public institutions that represent Brazils multicultural heritage the Superior Council of Cinema, Ancine, the Audiovisual Fund, the National Library, the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan) and the Palmares Foundation for Black Culture have faced censorship, funding cutbacks and other political pressure.
The Brazilian film-maker Petra Costa, director of the documentary The Edge of Democracy, currently has a chance of becoming the first female Latin American director to win an Oscar. Yet Bolsonaros secretary of communication recently used his official Twitter channel to disseminate a video attacking Costa as an anti-patriot spreading lies about the Bolsonaro government. Similarly, the feature films Bacurau, Invisible Life and Babenco received international acclaim at the Cannes and Venice film festivals, but Bolsonaro has declared that no good films have been produced in Brazil for a long time.
The Bolsonaro government is also working to reverse several important social achievements of the last two decades, including affirmative action. Between 2003 and 2017, the proportion of black students entering Brazilian universities increased 51%; the Bolsonaro regime wants to roll back this progress. Bolsonaro and his ministers routinely disparage ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community all while ignoring the violence and criminality of rightwing paramilitary militias.
This is a government that has no development plan for its people. Instead, the Bolsonaro regime is engaged in a dangerous culture war against contrived internal threats. It denies global warming and the burning of the Amazon, despises leaders who fight for the preservation of the environment, and disrespects the culture and environmental preservation carried out by indigenous communities.
We fear that these attacks on democratic institutions may soon become irreversible. Based on the most extreme and narrow conservative principles, Bolsonaros project is to change the content of school textbooks and Brazilian films, restrict access to funding for scholarships and research, and intimidate intellectuals, journalists and scientists. We ask the international community to:
Pressure Brazil to fully respect the universal declaration of human rights, and thereby respect freedom of expression, thought and religion.
Finally, we call on human rights bodies and the international press to put a spotlight on what is happening in Brazil. This is a grave political moment. We must reject the rise of authoritarianism.
Read more from the original source:
- Jennifer Kohan of Fellowship Freedom Plans selected as Top Director of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals - TAPinto.net - March 4th, 2020
- Schools must earn the freedom to make decisions, says Premier - The Sydney Morning Herald - March 4th, 2020
- LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Supporting freedom; part of the package; end death penalty - NWAOnline - March 4th, 2020
- Darmanovi on Freedom of Religion Act: No need for international arbitrage in Montenegro - European Western Balkans - March 4th, 2020
- Freedom Solar: record profits and growth in Texas residential and commercial PV - pv magazine USA - March 4th, 2020
- How Some Union Bosses Menace American Workers' Freedom - The National Interest Online - March 4th, 2020
- Ask a North Korean: can money buy freedom in the DPRK? - NK News - March 4th, 2020
- Freedom in the World 2020: Armenia and Artsakh rated as 'partly free' - - March 4th, 2020
- Freedom of movement could be retained in Scotland post-Brexit - The Scotsman - March 4th, 2020
- The Reverse Freedom Rides And Their Long Aftermath : Code Switch - NPR - March 4th, 2020
- Freedom boys hoops clips No. 1 seed Allen, is 1 win away from ending 44-year drought - lehighvalleylive.com - March 4th, 2020
- A Tweet Shows How Scared Gun-Control Activists are of Women and Minorities Enjoying Their Freedom - America's 1st Freedom - March 4th, 2020
- Sophie and Hans Scholl died resisting the Nazis. Let's not take freedom for granted - TheArticle - March 4th, 2020
- Tacky's Revolt review: Britain, Jamaica, slavery and an early fight for freedom - The Guardian - March 4th, 2020
- These Are the 10 'Most Urgent' Threats to Press Freedom in March 2020 - TIME - March 4th, 2020
- Submariners from HMS Vengeance and Bury sea cadets exercise Freedom of Bury St Edmunds with parade in town centre | Latest Suffolk and Essex News -... - March 4th, 2020
- You can't have both religious freedom and religious dominance - Patheos - March 4th, 2020
- The Presidential Medal of Freedom: Its Just So Beautiful - RushLimbaugh.com - February 9th, 2020
- Both Freedom teams clinch NWC titles they hope to win outright next week - Morganton News Herald - February 9th, 2020
- The Classic Novel That Saw Pleasure as a Path to Freedom - The New York Times - February 9th, 2020
- U.S. Launches The First-Ever International Religious Freedom Alliance - Forbes - February 9th, 2020
- You Will Find Your Freedom : Has Netflix Renewed Season 3 of OA? - Union Journalism - February 9th, 2020
- Bloomberg has thoughts on press freedom; the other candidates should give us theirs, too | TheHill - The Hill - February 9th, 2020
- Poetry, Walls and Freedom - The Wire - February 9th, 2020
- The latest assault on freedom of the press | TheHill - The Hill - February 9th, 2020
- Azaadiphobia: Who is Afraid of Freedom and Why - NewsClick - February 9th, 2020
- The Most Abused Freedom of Information Act Exemption Still Needs to Be Reined In - Project On Government Oversight - February 9th, 2020
- Freedom unifies the soul: Trump's State of the Union speechwriters have thrown in the towel - The Guardian - February 9th, 2020
- Trump says he will award Rush Limbaugh with Medal of Freedom - msnNOW - February 9th, 2020
- Case of Freedom Trail guides headed to the NLRB - The Boston Globe - February 9th, 2020
- Freedom Project: Play highlights civil rights perspective of black women - Meridian Star - February 9th, 2020
- Arts Wave partners with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to celebrate Black History Month. - WLWT Cincinnati - February 9th, 2020
- Taking the Freedom Out of Freelancing - Foundation for Economic Education - Foundation for Economic Education - February 9th, 2020
- The freedom Bobby Hurley gives to players is often criticized, but it might end up saving ASU's season - The Athletic - February 9th, 2020
- The basis of freedom - SC Times - February 9th, 2020
- The freedom in not knowing - The Boston Globe - January 30th, 2020
- 3 things you need to know about Birmingham's proposed Freedom Walk - Bham Now - January 30th, 2020
- Support school choice and empower families with educational freedom - Washington Examiner - January 30th, 2020
- Huber, Freedom want one more shot at wrestling in their own gym - lehighvalleylive.com - January 30th, 2020
- Freedom of Speech Doesn't Mean You Have to Be a Jerk Online - catcountry1073.com - January 30th, 2020
- No to Trump's apartheid plan. Yes to freedom and justice for the Palestinians - Haaretz - January 30th, 2020
- The True Cost Of Freedom Gas - Yahoo Finance - January 30th, 2020
- The long road to freedom - a giraffe is on the lam in Thailand - News965 - January 30th, 2020
- How An Enslaved Woman Sued And Won Her Freedom In 18th-Century Massachusetts - WBUR - January 30th, 2020
- Collings Foundation and FAA agree to temporary grounding of Wings of Freedom vintage planes - FOX61 Hartford - January 30th, 2020
- Sports: A Battlefield for Freedom of Expression and Political Change - besacenter.org - January 30th, 2020
- Jon Moxley '1000 percent' reinvigorated by creative freedom in All Elite Wrestling - WKYC.com - January 30th, 2020
- Melissa Martin: What happens when freedom of the press is silenced? - Cleburne Times-Review - January 1st, 2020
- Bagram's Afghan music night is the American base's other 'sound of freedom' - Stars and Stripes - January 1st, 2020
- Theros: Beyond Death Previews - Glimpse of Freedom and Sweet Oblivion MTG Arena Zone - MTG Arena Zone - January 1st, 2020
- Invest in Freedom: Support the Washington Monthly - Washington Monthly - January 1st, 2020
- Alabama's 200 years in 200 images: Freedom fighting from Iwo Jima to Selma - AL.com - January 1st, 2020
- Letter: Choice is simple freedom or slavery? - Northwest Herald - January 1st, 2020
- STORIES OF THE DECADE: Freedom boys hoops rallies to win 2013-14 state title at buzzer - Morganton News Herald - January 1st, 2020
- Freedom of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation - Royal Caribbean Blog - January 1st, 2020
- Ring in the New Year with Freedom Soup: Recipe - FOX 29 News Philadelphia - January 1st, 2020
- OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media welcomes release of Aseev and Halaziuk - Ukrinform. Ukraine and world news - January 1st, 2020
- STORIES OF THE DECADE: Freedom girls go perfect in 2015-16 for programs 5th title - Morganton News Herald - January 1st, 2020
- Press freedom situation yet to be satisfactory: FNJ - Khabarhub - January 1st, 2020
- Freedom of the Seas 2019 Live Blog - Preview - Royal Caribbean Blog - January 1st, 2020
- Freedom from 3Cs - The Indian Express - January 1st, 2020
- Freedom, Real Dividend of Democracy - THISDAY Newspapers - January 1st, 2020
- Economic freedom, not government programs, the key to poverty reduction - Orange County Register - Daily Gaming Worlld - January 1st, 2020
- Freedom Synonyms, Freedom Antonyms | Thesaurus.com - December 27th, 2019
- Byrne: Freedom from Religion Foundation needs to "stop forcing their ungodly, un-American views down our throats" - alreporter.com - December 27th, 2019
- Western Balkans Have Yet to Embrace Freedom of Information - Balkan Insight - December 27th, 2019
- Video: King Willem-Alexander addresses the Dutch public on Christmas Day, stressing the importance of freedom - Royal Central - December 27th, 2019
- Freedom to offend is a right and essential to democracy, says outgoing press watchdog chairman - The Sun - December 27th, 2019
- Of Concerns and Waivers: Religious Freedom and US Interests in Central Asia - The Diplomat - December 27th, 2019
- Climate tariffs on fracked molecules of freedom: German think tank wants to punish US for sanctions against Nord Stream 2 - RT - December 27th, 2019
- Weekly Wrap: Winter Solstice celebrations and responses | Freedom From Religion Foundation - Patheos - December 27th, 2019
- 'Freedom for All': Enes Kanter finally allowed to travel outside the U.S. for game - The Globe and Mail - December 27th, 2019
- The Colorado Springs Gazette: Happy Hanukkah, a celebration of freedom - coloradopolitics.com - December 27th, 2019
- True freedom is learning to love yourself | Opinion | Pittsburgh - PGH City Paper - December 27th, 2019
- Freedom Of Assembly - The Nation - December 27th, 2019
- A Trump sweatshirt and some thoughts on freedom - LancasterOnline - December 27th, 2019
- To Pay For The Freedom Dividend, Andrew Yang Says Our Mental State Matters To The Math - Forbes - December 27th, 2019
- Freedom Township man arrested after excessive speeds on motorcyle - Record-Courier - December 26th, 2019
- It's Official: 'Freedom Gas' Is the Worst Phrase of the Year - Gizmodo - December 26th, 2019
- In Punjab, the Legacy of the Ghadar Movement Continues to Inspire the Fight for Justice - The Wire - December 26th, 2019