Brazil Urged to Repeal Dictatorship-Era Anti-Press Law

Reporters Without Borders called today on Brazil to repeal its press offenses law, which enabled the arrest on 26 October of editor and commentator José de Arimatéia Azevedo, of the Internet website Portal AZ (www.portalaz.com.br), which was shut down by a judge in Teresina (capital of the northern state of PiauÀ­).

"He was arrested even though his lawyers said he had no intention of fleeing or avoiding a future court summons," the worldwide press freedom organization said.

"The Brazilian parliament should repeal the 1967 press law, passed during the 1964-85 military dictatorship and giving judges the right to imprison journalists for their public comments or writings."

Police arrested the editor in a raid on the Teresina offices of Portal AZ using a warrant issued a few hours earlier by Judge José Bonifácio Júnior at the request of lawyer Audrey Magalhães, who had been criticized in an editorial on the site.

Arimatéia Azevedo, who has long specialized in investigating organized crime, criticized online (under the pseudonym of Xico Pitomba) Antonio Rivanildo Feitosa da Silva, of regional TV station Meio Norte (his former employers), who was suing him for defamation and insults.

Arimatéia Azevedo responded on 6 October by criticizing Magalhães, Meio Norte’s lawyer, and Feitosa da Silva. Magalhães then applied for his arrest for "insults" and for trying to "influence an ongoing legal action." The warrant issued said Azevedo’s comments were obscene and "macho."

The Portal AZ editor, who has heart problems, is being held at the Piauí­ public security offices in Teresina. He told the online daily O Dia that a conciliation meeting between him and Feitosa da Silva had been set for 8 November. Justice officials are expected to rule on a request by his lawyers for a writ of habeas corpus early next week.

Piauí­ state secretary for public security Roberto Rios Magalhães called the shutdown of Portal AZ "illegal." The FENAJ (Federação Nacional de Jornalistas – National Journalists Federation) also criticized Azevedo’s arrest as "an attack on press freedom, democracy and the national constitution."

Reporters Without Borders – www.rsf.org

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Is Recovering Its Railroads, But It’s a Long Hard Road

Brazil’s railroad sector is recovering its dynamism, assured the president of the National Rail ...

LETTERS

Brazil—at its current level of almost a trillion reais a year, five thousand reais ...

Brazil to Send 5 Ministers to World Social Forum in Venezuela

The Brazilian government will send no less than five ministers of state to the ...

US Irked by Brazil’s Insistence on Farm Subsidies Reduction

Brazil and India called on United States, European Union and Japan to open their ...

Surely you must be joking, Mr. Niemeyer

People don’t seem to live in Brasília in the true sense of the word—they ...

Lack of Land Is Major Reason for High Mortality Among Brazilian Indians

The Brazilian Indianist Missionary Council (CIMI) registered the murders of 38 Indians last year ...

Brazil’s Petrobras World’s Best in Excellence Just Behind Shell

Brazilian oil company Petrobras ranked second in a world evaluation made by the Management ...

Brazil Hoping a Brazilian Will Be Next WTO’s Chief

The Brazilian candidate for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ...