The United States’ annual human rights report, released Tuesday (30) by the State Department, raised a number of concerns about Brazil – the country is one of nearly 200 analyzed by the document which highlights the deterioration of human rights over the past year. .
In the case of Brazil, quotes range from “unlawful or arbitrary police killings” and “widespread acts and corruption” to “violence against journalists” – directly linked to President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party).
The document highlighted the attacks by the president, who had criticized the press, verbally or on social networks, 53 times in the first half of 2020, according to a report by the NGO Reporters Without Borders.
One of the attacks mentioned was the response to a journalist in August 2020, who asked about Fabrício Queiroz’s deposits on the account of First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro. The president replied: “The desire is to fill your mouth with blows, okay?”
Former assistant to Flávio Bolsonaro (Republicanos-RJ) and his wife transferred R $ 89,000 to Michelle’s account. At first, the president replied to the journalist of the newspaper O Globo by asking him questions about the alleged monthly transfers made by the money changer Dario Messer to the Marinho family, owners of Rede Globo – the family denies any wrongdoing.
After insisting on payments to the first lady, Bolsonaro said he wanted to attack her.
The US report also mentions the president’s talks in front of the Palácio da Alvorada. “Several journalists were victims of verbal attacks […] leading a coalition of civil society organizations to open civil lawsuits against the government for failing to protect journalists there. “
The text recalls the decision by Folha and other vehicles to suspend coverage of these informal interviews due to a lack of security. Professionals there were also harassed by supporters of the president, prompting the government to take “additional measures to keep journalists separated from civilians gathered outside,” according to the report.
In addition to attacks on the press, the document twice cites Bolsonaro’s direct actions. First of all, he mentions the decree signed on policies for the education of disabled children, with the observation that “the policy can lead to a reduction in the possibilities of schooling” for these young people. In December, the STF (Federal Supreme Court) suspended the measure.
Mention is also made of measures taken by the federal government against Covid-19 in indigenous communities – but the text points out that “indigenous leaders have made public statements pointing out that very few of these resources are being delivered to their communities.”
The document also cites several cases of police violence and claims that members of the security forces have committed various abuses. The report uses data from the Brazilian Public Security Forum, according to which 5,804 civilians were killed by the company in 2019.
Rio de Janeiro was responsible for 30% of the national total, while it represented only 8% of the population. Regarding crimes committed in the state, the document mentions João Pedro Matos Pinto, 14, who died after being shot in his uncle’s house in São Gonçalo during a police operation. “Until August, no one had been charged or arrested,” the text indicates.
The report says the government has prosecuted those responsible, but points out that the impunity of the security forces is a problem, in addition to the delay in justice. The document also deals with political violence. With data from the NGO Terra de Direitos e Justiça Global, 327 cases have been identified, including murders, threats, physical violence and arrests of politicians or candidates between 2016 and September 2020. According to the text, 92 % of them targeted those working at the municipal level.
The data also indicates the deaths of nine politicians in Rio in 2019. The report recalls the case of Councilor Marielle Franco (PSOL) and her driver, Anderson Gomes, murdered in March 2018.
The text brings the arrest of former police officers Ronnie Lessa and Elcio Vieira de Queiroz and the preliminary trial which began in June 2019, but points out that, until August, the police had not identified who had ordered the crime, and the trial of the two accused there was no fixed date.
a document accuses the abuses of American rivals
The report also highlights the abuses committed by Russia, with the repression of political opponents, and by China, on the question of the Uyghurs. “Human rights trends continue to move in the wrong direction,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The US foreign minister said some governments have used the coronavirus crisis as “an excuse to restrict rights and consolidate the authoritarian regime.”
In China, the State Department points to the disappearance of four journalists who reported the start of the Covid-19 epidemic in Wuhan. He also mentions that researchers who have strayed from official accounts of the pandemic have faced persecution, censorship and, in some cases, intervention by universities and the police.
Still on the Beijing government, the text uses more assertive language to describe the mass detention program in Xinjiang province. In addition to the more than one million Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minority groups who claim to be in extrajudicial internment camps, the report states that there were “2 million more who received training in ‘ ‘day only’ rehabilitation, a document from the previous year.
The Russia report highlights the case of one of the main opponents of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalni, who was arrested earlier this year on his return to the country after being treated for poisoning. The report states that reliable reports indicate that officials of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) may have caused the poisoning.
Blinken also said an addendum to the document is expected to be released later this year to address issues such as reproductive health, which includes information on maternal mortality and discrimination against women in access to health. sexual and reproductive health, a topic suppressed by the Donald Trump administration.