Brazilian Judiciary Runs Amok in Election Campaign

Reporters Without Borders today condemned measures taken by courts in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia and the southeastern state of Minas Gerais aimed at gagging the press just a few weeks before the  October 1st general elections.

"It does not take a degree in rocket science to know what Brasí­lia’s regional electoral court seems to have realized, that press revelations about candidates can have a major impact on elections," the press freedom organization said.

"But this is not a matter for the courts, unless they accept that they take orders from politicians. It is up to the public to form their opinions on the basis of the information they have a right to receive."

Judge Roberval Casemiro Belinati of the Brasí­lia federal district electoral tribunal issued an order on August 27 banning all news media in his region from reporting the content or even referring to the existence of a conversation between two politicians that was recorded, transcribed and posted on a website.

The judge did this at the request of one of the two politicians involved, former Brasí­lia federal district governor Joaquim Roriz. In the recorded conversation between him and his lawyer, Eri Varela, a federal parliamentary candidate, Roriz was extremely critical of parliamentary representative José Roberto Arruda, the front-runner in the current race for the Brasí­lia governorship.

On the morning of August 27, journalist Ricardo Noblat posted the transcript of the conversation on his blog on the website of the O Estado de São Paulo ("O Estadão") newspaper.

A judicial official went to O Estadão’s office in Brasí­lia with a publication ban on the evening of the same day, but by then Arruda had already announced his intention to sue Roriz. Judge Belinati’s position was that the publication of the conversation could affect the electoral prospects of the politicians involved.

On August 30, federal police burst into the offices of the weekly Jornal Hoje in Belo Horizonte (the capital of Minas Gerais state) and seized computers and other office equipment. Jornal Hoje editor Joseti Alves said his newspaper had been charged with "an electoral crime" for revealing alleged irregularities by federal parliamentary representative Carlos Melles, who used to be tourism minister.

Undistributed copies of the 9 February issue of the magazine Revista do Observatório Social were seized in Ouro Preto (also in Minas Gerais state) during the second half of August.

The issue contained a report entitled "The Stone Age" about children who work in a Minas Gerais talc mine. The copies were seized as a result of June 30 court ruling that the magazine broke a law banning the publication of photos of minors without permission. The same law also bans child labor.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (1)

  • ch.c.

    Brazil—-what a strange world……
    Now revealing irregularities became illegal……..by decision of your Justice.

    Yeahhhhh ! Brazil just demonstrate to the world how much they are in favor of reducing corruptions practices.

    Lamentable !

    Simply because when elected, your politicians are no longer under the laws of your Justice but the verdict is made in secret votes by the other politicians and 90 % of the time the corrupted politicians are absolved……meaning they can continue to keep the same political power and continue their corruptions practices.

    A tragedy for a democracy……but the DAILY way of life in Brazil.

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’s Trade Surplus Keeps Growing. It’s Already Over US$ 31 Billion.

Brazilian shipments abroad resumed their growth pace last week, when the country exported products ...

Brazil Dreaming of a Latin American and Caribbean Free Trade Area

Brazil’s greatest expectation for the final document to be approved at the Rio Group’s ...

It’s Tough to Be South American and Brazil Knows It

It’s probable that the political and economic integration of South America will still be ...

Brazil's poultry cooperative Aurora

The Good Life of a Brazilian Chicken While Search Goes on for Super Bird

It eats little and gains weight quickly, it has large breasts and legs, is ...

In Brazil, Bodies Are Personal Billboards

For thousands of Brazilians, driven by advertising and the cultural industry, the meaning of ...

From 18 Congressmen to Be Sacked in Brazil, 7 Are from Ruling PT

The Post Office and Vote Buying Congressional Inquiries (CPIs), in Brazil, approved a joint ...

Brazil, a New America in the Tropics

How Lula Is Making Brazil into a New America and a World Power

Much has been written about the world’s emerging powers, from India and China to ...

Brazil: Defense Tells Supreme Court Mensalão Corruption Scheme Never Existed

José Luis de Oliveira Lima, the defense lawyer for José Dirceu, the former presidential ...

Brazil’s Natural Gas Trade Jumps 17% Topping 2008 Sales

Sales of natural gas in Brazil reached a record value in September, 51.2 million ...

We’re Sure Paying Attention to the U.S., Says Brazil’s Foreign Minister

In a hearing before Brazil’s Foreign Relations and National Defense Commission, the Brazilian Minister ...