• Categories
  • Archives

Higher Court Overturns Fine for Political Interview in Brazil

Brazilian daily Folha de S. Paulo Brazil's Superior Electoral Tribunal's ruled on July 2 that a São Paulo electoral court violated the constitution on June 16 when it fined the Folha de S. Paulo daily and the weekly news magazine Veja 21,000 Brazilian reais (US$ 13,100) for "premature electoral propaganda."

The two publications were punished for carrying interviews with Marta Suplicy, a prospective candidate for mayor of São Paulo in next October's municipal elections. She was also fined. The prosecutor's office of the São Paulo regional electoral court had already requested the quashing of the sanctions.

However, in a separate development on July 1st, the Rio de Janeiro regional electoral court fined O Debate daily newspaper and Rádio 95 FM, a station based in Macaé (Rio de Janeiro state), 20,000 reais for interviewing federal parliamentarian Sí­lvio Lopes Teixeira.

The international press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders said that it welcomes the higher court decision. The entity had earlier called "absurd" a conviction for "electoral propaganda" against Folha and Veja. For Reporters, the verdict placed an unacceptable limit on press freedom and urged an urgent reform of the current electoral law.

The electoral justice court of Sao Paulo found the daily and the magazine guilty of "advance electoral propaganda" after they carried interviews on June 4 with Suplicy, a prospective candidate for the ruling Workers' Party (PT, of President Lula) for mayoral elections in October, in the country's largest city.

The legislative framework for municipal election campaigns imposes very strict limits on candidates speaking to the media, including "prospective" candidates, whose candidature has not been confirmed. The Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI) has recorded at least nine such cases throughout the country in the run-up to the October elections.

The convictions against Folha and Veja have been strongly criticized by both judges and politicians. Carlos Ayres Britto, President of the higher electoral court, the country's highest electoral jurisdiction, had said that the courts should "take very great care not to obstruct the fundamental right to freedom of information".

Social communications minister Franklin Martins added, "It is obvious that an interview is not electoral propaganda but the practice of journalism".

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

Killing of Brazilian Shows London’s Police ‘Go for the Brain’ Policy

Jean Charles de Menezes, the 27-year-old Brazilian slain by police last week in a ...

Foreign Bulls Stir Brazil’s Market

Brazilian  market strengthened this Friday, January 14, amid a batch of economic news, with ...

Number of College Students Doubles in Brazil, But It’s Still Only 14%

The rate of Brazilian youths enrolled in universities the last 10 years has doubled, ...

Damascus Fair Draws Brazil’s Small Businesses Attention

São José do Rio Preto, city in the interior of the Brazilian southeastern state ...

Despite Doom Predictions Brazil’s Trade Balance Grows 4.2%

Exports from Brazil totaled US$ 3.114 billion in the first week of October, which ...

Brazil: Mercosur Opens Up to Arab World

Negotiations for the preference treaty between the Mercosur, the customs union between Argentina, Brazil, ...

It Will Take 10 Years or More Before Half of Brazil Gets Hooked to the Internet

Despite the fact that every four months one million new Brazilians get access to ...

Brazil knows it has to improve its infrastructure

Brazil Has US$ 5.4 Billion Trade Surplus for 2007

Brazil's exports yielded US$ 10.104 billion in February, a 15.5% increase compared with the ...

Brazil and Mercosur Create Their Own Mini World Bank

Energy, infrastructure, human rights and support for Bolivian democracy were among the main issues ...

Brasileirinho: US Gets a Whiff of Brazilian Choro

"The Sound of Rio," a 90-minute musical documentary film on choro, the first genuinely ...