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

    Brazilian Press: Bring Back the Journalists!

    The media, taken as industry or institution, finds itself paralyzed. Its reactions are counterproductive ...

    LETTERS

    Located in the northwest of Brazil, Roraima, which was upgraded from territory to state ...

    Brazil’s Odebrecht Gets a Foot in Arab Door

    Construction company Norberto Odebrecht, from Brazil, started the construction of a new maritime terminal ...

    Deforestation in Brazil

    Brazil 2010 Amazon Deforestation Data Shows Lowest Rate Ever Recorded

    The Brazilian government is announcing that deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon declined 14% ...

    Brazil on the Verge Again of Regulating Journalists’ Work

    A new federal law regulating the work of journalists that was approved by the ...

    Itaú-Unibanco merger

    Itaú-Unibanco Bank Merger Gets Brazil’s Seal of Approval

    A year and nine months after the merger of two of Brazil’s largest private ...

    Lula honored by Arabs

    Middle East’s Peace Shouldn’t Be Left to the US Alone, Says Lula

    While attending a dinner promoted by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce at the ...

    A New Book Shows Brazil’s Lula as a Foul-Mouthed, Ill-Tempered President

    Two reporters credentialed with the Brazilian presidency have produced a book filled with little ...

    The French Connection

    France-based Brazilian group Jiripoca’s second CD, Destinos, was released in 1998, close on the ...

    Boy with national team jersey

    Death Toll Rises to 57 in Brazilian Floods. Dozens Still Missing

    The toll of deaths due to flooding in Brazil’s Northeast region states of Alagoas ...