Discussing the human rights situation in Brazil
A couple of weeks ago the highly controversial politician Jair Messias Bolsonaro won the first round of the presidential elections in Brazil. Far right Bolsonaro got 46% of the votes and because that is less than half, the second round will take place next week. The former military has promised citizens to combat criminality and corruption with a firm hand.
He has made some very controversial statements regarding homosexuality, reinstating the death penalty and is openly racist. He also wants to give ‘virtuous citizens’ the right to arm themselves, so that they can protect themselves against criminals. His motto is ‘a good criminal is a death criminal’.
Amnesty International has already observed many forms of police violence and is very concerned about current developments. Fighting crime should never violate the human rights of citizens. In 2015 we wrote the report ‘You killed my son’ about homicides by military police in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Extrajudicial executions at the hands of police officials are frequent in Brazil. In the context of the so-called “war on drugs”, military police forces have unnecessarily and excessively used lethal force, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people over the past decade. In 2012 over 50% of homicide victims were aged between 15 and 29, and 77% were black.
On 2 November we organise the Masterclass ‘Police violence and youth in Brazil’ in our Amnesty house. During this masterclass we will discuss the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers which is raising serious human rights concerns, including with regard to the right to life. For this we will focus on the case of Marielle Franco, an activist who was murdered in March of this year. As a reaction, tens of thousands, especially poor black Brazilians took to the streets. As a black bisexual woman from the favelas, she tirelessly fought for human rights and against police violence which made her a hero to many young people in her country.
If want to learn more about the human rights situation in Brazil and the story of Marielle Franco (who is part of this year’s Write for Rights campaign), join our Masterclass on 2 November.