Human rights in Brazil under threat ahead of the World Cup

By agency reporter
13 Apr 2014

The rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly are under threat in Brazil, Amnesty International says two months ahead of the start of the 2014 football World Cup.

New draconian “anti-terror” laws currently before parliament signal the government’s intent to crush any peaceful protests in the country.

Amnesty International has been monitoring events in the run up to the World Cup. Issues include:

• New proposed laws on “terrorism” and “disorder” which put the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly at risk in Brazil.
• Excessive use of force by police during last year’s demonstrations.
• Police and military occupation of favelas in Rio de Janeiro raise concerns about the excessive use of force and the military control of communities.
• The total disregard for human rights in evictions in Rio de Janeiro to make way for construction works for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Atila Roque, Director Amnesty International Brazil, said: “The excessive use of force by Brazilian police in response to the widespread protests last year resulted in many people injured. Rather than training the police in how to deal with peaceful mass protests, the government’s response has been to criminalise protesters giving the security services carte blanche to arrest and detain people at will."

He concluded: "New laws have been proposed that threaten the right to freedom of expression. This is not just about the World Cup but will have long-term consequences for any future peaceful protests.”

[Ekk/3]

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