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Brazilian Judge Explains Anti-US Measure

 Brazilian 
                Judge Explains Anti-US Measure

Since
the first of the year, Americans arriving in São Paulo
are
being photographed and fingerprinted. According to federal judge

Julier Sebastião da Siva who imposed the measure, this
action
is in defense of the civil rights of Brazilians who will be submitted

to the same procedures when disembarking in the US.
by: Juliana
Andrade

 

The identification
and cataloguing of all American tourists who arrive in Brazil
will not affect relations between Brazil and the United States,
according to federal judge Julier Sebastião Silva, in
an interview with the Agência Brasil.

It was he
who made the determination that obliges Americans to be photographed
and fingerprinted upon disembarking in Brazil. "The United
States cannot treat Brazilians arbitrarily, branding them as
terrorists with no evidence and, at the same time, exempt other
countries, notably the rich countries," the judge emphasized.

Silva affirmed
that the decision is based on the principle of reciprocity in
international law. According to him, the measure is aimed at
guaranteeing Brazilian citizens their civil rights, which, beginning
this Monday, January 5, will also be submitted to strict rules
of identification, when they land at American airports.

In addition
to Brazil, citizens from other countries in Latin America, Africa,
Asia, and the Middle East will be photographed and fingerprinted
at airports in the United States, as a security measure.

For judge
Silva, Brazil should be excluded from the list formulated by
American authorities. "Nothing more legitimate than Brazil’s
also availing itself of the international principle of reciprocity
and doling out the same treatment to American citizens, as long
as restrictions on Brazilians in American territory persist,"
he completed.

The Brazilian
government may appeal the Federal Court’s decision. But, in
the judge’s view, questioning the decision would be politically
unpopular. Nevertheless, the press section of the Federal Attorney
General’s Office informed that the matter is being examined
in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Relations and that,
up to this point, no decision has been made about an eventual
appeal.

Since January
1st, all US citizens arriving at the São Paulo
International Airport, in Guarulhos, are being submitted to
the new identification system adopted by the Federal Police
(PF), in compliance with a judicial order emitted by Judge da
Silva, of the First Federal Court of Mato Grosso state.

The measure
constitutes a reciprocal action to the treatment received by
Brazilians who disembark in the United States. That is, passengers
must allow themselves to be photographed, as well as being fingerprinted.
According to the Federal Police, 230 US citizens had already
gone through the Guarulhos airport terminal in the second day
after the start of the measure. Also according to the PF, the
passengers’ initial reaction is one of consternation, before
the police officers explain that Brazilians are being submitted
to the same procedures in American territory.

 
Juliana
Andrade works for Agência Brasil (AB), the official
press agency of the Brazilian government. Comments are welcome
at lia@radiobras.gov.br

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