Spread the love

Brazil: Bolsonaro calls for demonstrations for freedom of expression

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro calls on his supporters to take action. demonstrate Sunday à Copacabana to defend freedom of expression that he considers threatened, in the middle of a standoff between justice and the American tycoon Elon Musk. about censorship and disinformation.

The demonstration begins at 10:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT) on the famous beach of Rio de Janeiro, two months after a first show of force on February 25 in Sao Paulo. The far-right leader then brought together some 185,000 people, according to an estimate by researchers.

“The whole world is aware of the threat to our freedom of expression,” the former president (2019-2022) said in a video published Thursday on social networks. “Let us act peacefully, to defend democracy, for our freedom, without posters or banners.”

Mr. Bolsonaro, 69, has invoked the defense of freedom to mobilize his supporters since Elon Musk, the owner of the X platform since 2022, attacked the powerful Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes in early April.

In the name of the fight against disinformation, in recent years the magistrate has ordered the blocking of accounts of influential figures in Brazilian ultra-conservative movements.

Brazil: Bolsonaro calls for demonstrations for freedom of expression

Demonstration by supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, January 8, 2023 © AFP – EVARISTO SA

Mr. Musk, who does not hide his closeness to Mr. Bolsonaro, called the judge a “dictator” and called for his dismissal, while claiming to want to free himself from his decisions.

The magistrate in return launched an investigation accusing him of “criminal exploitation of to lie” –

He also added his name to the list of personalities targeted by another investigation already underway, on the supposed “digital militias”: a group of close collaborators of Jair Bolsonaro suspected of having orchestrated online disinformation campaigns during his presidency .

In a letter dated April 13, representatives of X in Brazil, however, committed to complying with the decisions of the Supreme Court.

Brazil: Bolsonaro calls for demonstrations for freedom of expression

Brazilian Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes on June 22, 2023 in Brasilia © AFP – EVARISTO SA

The dispute gained momentum in political and legal circles. Other members of the Supreme Court supported the magistrate.

Left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Mr. Bolsonaro's winner in October 2022, declared without to directly allude to Mr. Musk: “if I could, I would order a ban on lying.”

The judge, who has recently made numerous public statements, observed on Friday that Brazilian justice was used to “facing foreign merchants who treat Brazil like a colony”.

The Bolsonarist deputies accuse the Supreme Court of being aligned with the Lula's government and undermine democracy and freedoms.

A committee of the American House of Representatives even intervened by publishing on Thursday a thick report on confidential decisions of the judge concerning X and other platforms.

In 2023, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), chaired by Alexandre de Moraes, sentenced Jair Bolsonaro to eight years of ineligibility for disseminating false information about the Brazilian electoral system.

The judge had already ordered the opening of investigations against Mr. Bolsonaro and those close to him when he was president, which led to him being called a “scoundrel” by the person concerned in 2021.

– “Fake news” –

Another investigation under the responsibility of the magistrate attempts to establish whether the ex-president was the instigator of the riots of January 8, 2023 in Brasilia, when thousands of his sympathizers, refusing to accept Lula's victory, ransacked places of power.

Brazil: Bolsonaro calls for demonstrations for freedom of expression

Brazilian Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes on September 13, 2023 in Brasilia © AFP – Sergio Lima

Mr. Bolsonaro was banned from leaving the country on February 8 as part of an investigation into an alleged “coup attempt” after his 2022 electoral defeat.

The investigators referred to a document containing a draft decree aimed at “preventing the legitimately elected president from gaining power”, by calling new elections and arresting Alexandre de Moraes.< /p>

This draft decree is “the biggest fake news in the history of Brazil”, denounced the ex-president in an April 6 video calling for demonstrations, indicating that this subject would be discussed during the April 21 demonstration in Rio.

He has always proclaimed his innocence, saying he is the victim of “persecution”.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116