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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