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Harasses Supreme Court, Signals He May Cancel Elections, Violates Free Speech

President Jair Bolsonaro is threatening democratic rule in Brazil, Human Rights Watch said today on International Day of Democracy. He is pursuing campaigns to intimidate the Supreme Court, signaling that he may attempt to cancel the 2022 election or…
The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, at a rally on September 07, 2021 in São Paulo, Brazil.
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President Violates Free Speech, Access to Information Rights

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is blocking social media followers who criticize him, violating their rights to free speech and access to information, and to participate in the conduct of public affairs, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro uses his cellphone during at event at the presidential palace in Brasilia on June 13, 2019.
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President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is blocking social media followers who criticize him, violating their rights to free speech and access to information, and to participate in the conduct of public affairs, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Journalists and Online Commentators Face Persecution for Critical Reporting

Celebrating World Press Freedom Day in Rwanda may well require journalists, activists, and diplomats to toe the line of the government’s ever-growing list of forbidden topics. In a country where the president coolly gives speeches gloating about the…
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame speaks during the state funeral of Kenya’s former president, Daniel arap Moi, at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, February 11, 2020.
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Bolsonaro Administration Uses Dictatorship-Era Law to Repress Dissent

The administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is using a repressive law enacted during the country’s dictatorship (1964-1985) to seek prison sentences against people who have criticized its disastrous response to the Covid-19 pandemic,…
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, without a mask, attends a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Brasilia, along with ministers and other authorities, most of whom are wearing mask, on September 7, 2020. 
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Current Draft Violates Free Speech and Association, Privacy

(São Paulo) – Brazil’s Congress should ensure that any measure aimed at addressing defamation and the spread of false information upholds people’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Bolsonaro´s Allies Push New Effort to Restrict Discussions at Schools

Brazil´s Supreme Court issued an important decision striking down restrictions on political speech on university campuses in a unanimous ruling yesterday. Meanwhile, president-elect Jair Bolsonaro´s allies in Congress are pressing ahead…
201811americas_brazil_supremecourt
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  As Russia hosts the World Cup—the biggest single-event sports competition on the planet—the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) should make clear that its rules off the pitch…
A Fifa tem influência para exigir respeito a direitos humanos
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Summary The mayor said, “All thieves must be killed.” He said it was an order. −Witness to the execution of Fulgence Rukundo on December 6, 2016 Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least…
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Laws Used to Suppress Calls for Police Reform

(São Paulo) – Brazilian authorities should reform laws that have been used to impose disproportionate punishments on military police officers who speak out publicly to advocate reform or voice complaints, Human Rights Watch said today. “A…
Military police riot control the protest against Brazil's President Michel Temer in São Paulo, Brazil. September 4, 2016
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Norway Deported Nkusi, Who Faces Prosecution in Rwanda

Joseph Nkusi is a Rwandan blogger who has sharply criticized Rwanda’s government, made false and inflammatory claims about the 1994 genocide, and founded a radical opposition group while living in exile in Norway. Next Monday, he is slated to go on trial…
A general view of Rwanda's capital Kigali, March 26, 2014.
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Brazilian authorities should reform laws that have been used to impose disproportionate punishments on military police officers who speak out publicly to advocate reform or voice complaints. Brazil’s 436,000 military police officers patrol the country’s…
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The killing of 33 inmates in the Brazilian state of Roraima is another sign that the country's prisons are disgracefully out of control. Many of the bodies were decapitated, a practice widely used by gangs to terrorize their enemies. …
A relative of a prisoner holds a local newspaper, which shows a headline about a deadly prison riot, in front of Anisio Jobim prison in Manaus, Brazil, on January 3, 2017.
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Annual Day Promotes Accountability for Attacks on the Media

For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional…
Somali photojournalist runs for cover while reporting on fighting between the Somali government and African Union forces against the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, April 2012.
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Brazil is becoming a new flashpoint for digital rights after a series of actions against WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service. On May 2, a judge in the northeastern state of Sergipe ordered mobile phone operators to block WhatsApp for 72 hours…
Whatsapp App logos on a mobile phone in Sao Paulo, Brazil on December 16, 2015.
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Endangers Freedom of Association

(São Paulo) – President Dilma Rousseff should veto a counterterrorism bill whose overbroad and vague language could be used to undermine freedom of association and expression in Brazil, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the president. “…
Students demonstrate in front of Brazil´s National Congress in Brasilia to demand more investment in public education. June 27, 2013.
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The United States is providing early release this weekend for 6,000 inmates who have been serving federal sentences for non-violent drug crimes -- the biggest one-time release of inmates in US history. It's a sign of a tectonic shift occurring in the…
U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff depart a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 30, 2015.
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Pernambuco’s prisons have become a haven of private enterprise. Imagine, if you can, what it is like to be imprisoned there. For 2,000 reais (USD530), you could buy a place to sleep, a narrow wooden cubicle where you can throw a mattress and prop a fan.…
Makeshift “barracos,” or cubicles, inside Pavilion 7 at Presídio Juiz Antônio Luiz L. de Barros (PJALLB), in Recife.
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Among Brazil’s Overpacked Prisons, Pernambuco Tops the List

(São Paulo) – The Brazilian state of Pernambuco has effectively turned over its vastly overcrowded prisons to hand-picked inmate “keyholders,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Pernambuco prison system holds more than three times as…
Penitenciária Agro-Industrial São João