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Although the law requires trials be held within a set time, there were millions of backlogged cases at state, federal, and appellate courts, and cases often took many years to be concluded. To reduce the backlog, state and federal courts frequently dismissed old cases without a hearing. While the law provides for the right to counsel, the Ministry of Public Security stated many prisoners could not afford an attorney. The court must furnish a public defender or private attorney at public expense in such cases, but staffing deficits persisted in all states. Citizens may submit lawsuits before the courts for human rights violations.
While the justice system provides for an independent civil judiciary, courts were burdened with backlogs and sometimes subject to corruption, political influence, and indirect intimidation.
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Although the law and constitution prohibit warrantless searches, NGOs reported police occasionally conducted searches without warrants. Human rights groups, other NGOs, and media reported incidents of excessive police searches in poor neighborhoods. During these operations, police stopped and questioned persons and searched cars and residences without warrants. The constitution and law provide for freedom of expression, including for the press, but the government did not always respect this right. Freedom of Expression : On July 27, police shut down a concert at a jazz and blues festival in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul when performers encouraged the crowd to curse President Bolsonaro.
Military police officers ordered the music to stop and cleared out the venue. Violence and Harassment : Journalists were sometimes killed or subjected to harassment, physical attacks, and threats as a result of their reporting.
According to the Press Emblem Campaign, from January to June, the National Federation of Journalists reported violence against journalists increased by 36 percent in , compared with , with incidents reported, mostly by protesters. The majority of incidents occurred during political rallies.
Images from surveillance cameras showed two men approaching the vehicle in which the journalist was sitting and shooting him several times. The killing of journalist Silva Barros was the second in the city in less than 30 days. Giorno had recently announced his intention to run for mayor. As of September, police had not made arrests in either case. In instances of violence perpetrated by protesters or provocateurs during mass demonstrations, at times security forces injured journalists during crowd-control operations.
Censorship or Content Restrictions : National laws prohibit politically motivated judicial censorship, but there were reports of judicial censorship in some local-level courts. Two days later, under intense pressure, Justice Moraes rescinded the decision. He said the book and others with LGBTI content should be wrapped in black plastic and display a warning label, and he then ordered city inspectors to seize copies of Avengers. The book sold out prior to his giving the order. The former Temer administration had already approved funding, and the series was in the final phase of approval.
Minister Terra denied the suspension was an act of censorship, stating the Bolsonaro administration had the right to prioritize programming and was not beholden to decisions made by prior administrations.
On August 22, the national secretary of culture within the Ministry of Citizenship, Jose Henrique Medeiros Pires, stepped down in protest, and the Federal Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro opened an investigation to determine if the federal government violated the constitution by discriminating against the LGBTI community and violating rules for government public notices. Nongovernmental Impact : Nongovernmental criminal elements at times subjected journalists to violence due to their professional activities.
The government did not restrict or disrupt access to the internet or systematically censor online content, and there were no credible reports the government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority. Nonetheless, the online environment remained constrained by violence against independent bloggers and websites, criminal defamation laws, and restrictive limits on content related to elections. The law protects net neutrality and freedom of expression online and provides for the inviolability and secrecy of user communications online, permitting exceptions only by court order.
Anonymous speech is explicitly excluded from constitutional protection. The electoral law regulates political campaign activity on the internet. The law prohibits paid political advertising online and in traditional media. During the three months prior to an election, the law also prohibits online and traditional media from promoting candidates and distributing content that ridicules or could offend a candidate. The law provides for the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights.
Exclusive: Brazil’s Embraer draws foreign interest after Boeing rift – sources
The government generally respected the right of freedom of peaceful assembly, but police occasionally intervened in citizen protests that turned violent. On July 23, three federal highway police officers interrupted a civil society meeting being held to organize protests against President Bolsonaro during his visit to the state of Amazonas. The officers reportedly intimidated and questioned participants about the protest and which organizations were involved. According to press reports, two participants said the officers claimed they were acting on official orders.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:
The constitution provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights. The report included results from interviews with a sample of refugees who had settled in seven states and the Federal District. According to the report, 55 percent of the refugees were from Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of those, only had been officially recognized as refugees by the National Committee for Refugees due to a years-long backlog in deciding cases.
Abuse of Migrants, Refugees, and Stateless Persons : NGOs reported that refugees were susceptible to human trafficking for the purposes of forced prostitution and forced labor. The National Committee for Refugees cooperated with UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations in providing official documents, protection, and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, and other persons of concern. The government cooperated with UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to displaced persons.
Access to Asylum : The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees. By law refugees are provided official documentation, access to legal protection, and access to public services. A migration law codified protections for asylum claimants and created a new humanitarian visa and residency status that serves as an alternative to refugee claims for some categories of regional migrants, particularly from Venezuela. Increasing numbers of Venezuelan economic migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees arrived in the northern state of Roraima during the year.
Many applied for asylum or temporary residency. The influx of the migrants into the small state aggravated relations between the local residents, migrants, and refugees, leading to incidents of violence. The process was differentiated from resettlement, since a legal determination on their refugee status had not been reached. Employment : The interiorization program also aims to provide economic opportunities for resettled Venezuelans by placing them in economic hubs in larger cities.
Nonetheless, resettled Venezuelans seeking employment reported difficulty obtaining Brazilian accreditation for foreign academic degrees and professional licenses, restricting their ability to work.
The law provides citizens the ability to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage. Recent Elections : In national elections held in October , citizens chose former federal deputy Jair Bolsonaro as president as well as elected 54 senators and federal deputies to the National Congress. International observers and media considered the elections free and fair. Participation of Women and Minorities : No laws limit participation of women or members of minorities in the political process, and they did participate.
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The law requires parties and coalitions to have a minimum quota of 30 percent women on the list of candidates for Congress and municipalities. By law 20 percent of the political television and radio advertising must be used to encourage female participation in politics. Parties that do not comply with this requirement may be found ineligible to contest elections.
In the elections, some parties fielded the minimum number of female candidates but reportedly did not provide sufficient support for them to campaign effectively. In the Superior Electoral Court ruled parties must provide a minimum of 30 percent of campaign funds to support the election of female candidates. Women remained underrepresented in elected positions, representing only 15 percent of federal deputies and 13 percent of federal senators.
The military police commander general announced he would investigate the actions of the police officers who posted the offensive comments. In January Federal Deputy Jean Wyllys, one of the first openly gay National Congress deputies, went into self-imposed exile, abandoning his third term. He had received police protection for four years due to death threats.
The law provides criminal penalties for conviction of corruption by officials and stipulates civil penalties for corruption committed by Brazilian citizens or entities overseas. There were numerous reports of corruption at various levels of government, and delays in judicial proceedings against persons accused of corruption were common, often due to constitutional protections from prosecution for sitting members of Congress and government ministers. This often resulted in de facto impunity for those responsible.
Corruption : In June the Federal Police launched an operation to dismantle a network of federal police agents and federal highway police personnel who leaked information about police operations in the state of Santa Catarina to businesspersons and politicians. As part of the operation, federal police agents arrested the mayor of Florianopolis, Gean Loureiro, for allegedly ordering Paraguayan spy equipment to be smuggled in and placed in the city hall.
Loureiro was held for less than 24 hours but was relieved of office for 30 days while the investigation was underway. The investigation of the Petrobras state oil company embezzlement scandal Operation Carwash, or Lava Jato , which began in , continued and led to arrests and convictions of money launderers and major construction contractors and also to the investigation, indictment, and conviction of politicians across the political class. Information gained through collaboration and plea bargains with suspects launched a widening net of new investigations.
Temer was charged with corruption, money laundering, and embezzlement. As of October, there were no additional developments in this case. In November federal police agents arrested Rio de Janeiro Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao on charges of corruption and money laundering. As of October, he remained in detention awaiting trial. Financial Disclosure : Public officials are subject to financial disclosure laws, and officials generally complied with these provisions.
Many domestic and international human rights groups generally operated without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. Government officials were cooperative and responsive to their views. Federal and state officials in many cases sought the aid and cooperation of domestic and international NGOs in addressing human rights problems.
In June President Bolsonaro reissued the executive order after Congress denied the measure. On August 1, the Supreme Court determined that issuing the same executive order twice in the same legislative session was unconstitutional and allowed FUNAI to remain under the Ministry of Justice with the land demarcation function until at least The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate had human rights committees and subcommittees that operated without interference and participated in several activities nationwide in coordination with domestic and international human rights organizations.