Brazil: “indirect censorship” of the press by Bolsonaro

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The government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has put in place “a series of indirect censorship mechanisms” that threaten press freedom in Brazil, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounced in a quarterly report on Tuesday.

The NGO also reported, for the period from July to September, more than 100 attacks against journalists by the Head of State, his sons or other “close allies”.

“This posture openly hostile to the press has become the trademark” of the Brazilian government, insists RSF.

“Beyond the attacks, there is a climate of mistrust of the press, of disinformation and a restriction on the dissemination of official data to control public debate,” the report continues.

Not to mention the “opacity” with which the coronavirus crisis was managed, which has killed more than 154,000 Brazilians.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly in September, the far-right leader “accused the press of politicizing the virus and causing panic and social chaos,” recalls the NGO.

RSF’s report also mentions “judicial harassment as a censorship mechanism”, with “abusive” trials against journalists and media.

The NGO cites as an example a decision by a judge who banned TV Globo, Brazil’s largest television channel, from showing on the air documents related to the investigation against Flavio Bolsonaro, the president’s eldest son. , suspected of embezzling public funds by employing ghost workers.

Asked about this affair by a journalist in August, the head of state replied: “I want to shut your mouth with punches.”

Brazil is in 107th place in the world press freedom ranking compiled by RSF.

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