Violence in the Brazilian electoral context is denounced to the UN and the OAS

On Thursday morning, Brazilian and international civil society organizations sent a report (find attached) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS in which they manifest their concern with the escalation of violence related to the context of the presidential elections in Brazil and the attacks made by candidate Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) to social movements and activism.

"Free and plural expression is being curtailed, generating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Intolerance towards who diverges has materialized itself in countless cases of verbal and physical aggression, threats and even murders. Violence has taken on alarming proportions which are manifest in hate speech and concrete attacks, for the most part targeting minority groups (women, LGBTTI people, Black people, indigenous peoples, quilombolas and people from Northeast Brazil)." the document states.

In addition to threats, assaults and killings, motivated by divergences in political positions, most of which promoted by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the report discusses how the dissemination of fake news and statements by Mr. Bolsonaro and his supporters against the democratic State under the rule of Law challenge Brazilian democracy and violate human rights commitments internationally assumed by the State.

The document also features a compilation of PSL candidate public demonstrations that encourage violence, humiliate minorities, and legitimize practices that are contrary to human rights. It also presents statements in which the politician questioned the legitimacy of Brazilian elections and institutions – suggesting that electronic ballot boxes were being rigged by his competitor and would not settle for an outcome other than his victory, establishing a climate of insecurity and fear.

Fake news

Another point that stands out in the document is the diffusion of false and defamatory news in the electoral context. For the organizations, Brazilian institutions have not responded diligently to the denunciations concerning declarations that violate human rights, politically motivated aggressions and the dissemination of “fake” news.

Requests

As a result, the UN and the IACHR are called upon to issue a public statement condemning the violence and urging so Brazilian institutions to enforce the right to freedom of association and political expression in the face of threats to the democratic rule of law.

Letter to OAS

Letter to UN

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