Wednesday 12.7.2017 in Latest Developments in Brazil Country Page
In May and June 2017, tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets over new corruption scandals involving President Temer. Protesters called for his resignation and new elections. On 24th May, social movements and unions organised a demonstration in the capital, Brasilia. When demonstrators headed towards the Congress, riot police reacted with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, wounding 49 people - one of them with a firearm. Some of the protesters also reacted violently, shooting fireworks at police and setting fire to a government building.
In response to the violence, the president enacted a decree on 24th May, authorising the armed forces to manage protests and “to ensure law and order” through 31st May 2017. The decree, however, was revoked the next day - 25th May.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the South America Regional Office of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement condemning the police use of excessive force during the protests. The statement served to “urge the Brazilian State to redouble its efforts to promote dialogue and protect the right to peaceful protest”.
On 30th June, several demonstrations against Temer´s reforms and austerity measures were repressed and at least three protesters were arrested in the states of Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
Brazilian civil society organisations attended a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), during the 162nd session held in Buenos Aires from 22nd to 27th May 2017. At the hearing, the organisations addressed the lack of freedom of expression for judges who are targeted with reprisals “because of their judicial decisions or comments on the guarantee of rights”.
The petitioning organisations - ARTICLE 19, the Association of Judges for Democracy, Justice and Human Rights Campaign, Conectas Human Rights, Due Process of Law Foundation and the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences - stated that freedom of expression for the judiciary “must be protected, not only in their judicial decisions, but for their comments outside of these decisions".