News World Brazil Court Strikes Down Restrictions on University Speech

Brazil Court Strikes Down Restrictions on University Speech

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 with efforts to restrict what students and educators can discuss in the classroom.

The court ruling overturned decisions by electoral court judges who recently ordered universities across the country to clamp down on what they considered illegal political campaigning. The orders were spurred by complaints from anonymous callers and, in a few cases, by members of conservative groups.

For example, at Grande Dourados Federal University, court officials suspended a public event against fascism, according to the student group that organized it. At Campina Grande Federal University, police allegedly seized copies of a pamphlet titled “Manifesto in defense of democracy and public universities” and hard drives, said a professors´ association.

At Rio de Janeiro State University, police ordered the removal of a banner honoring Marielle Franco, a black lesbian human rights defender and councilwoman murdered in March, despite not having a judicial order.

The attorney general, Raquel Dodge, asked the Supreme Court to rule the electoral court judges´ decisions unconstitutional, and Supreme Court justice Cármen Lúcia Rocha issued an injunction stopping them. The full court upheld that decision on October 31.

“The only force that must enter universities is the force of ideas,” said Rocha.

“The excessive and illegitimate use of force by state agents … echoes somber days in Brazilian history,” said Justice Rosa Weber, referring to Brazil´s 1964 – 1985 military dictatorship.

The ruling comes as Bolsonaro, who remains in Congress until he assumes the presidency on January 1, and his allies push a bill that would prohibit teachers from promoting their own opinions in the classroom or using the terms “gender” or “sexual orientation,” and would order that sex and religious education be framed around “family values.”

A state representative-elect from Bolsonaro´s party has even called on students to film and report teachers who make “political-partisan or ideological statements.” Bolsonaro made a similar call in 2016. State prosecutors have filed a civil action against the representative-elect, alleging she instituted “an illegal service for the political and ideological control of teaching activities.”

In his long career in Congress, Bolsonaro has endorsed abusive practices that undermine the rule of law, defended the dictatorship, and has been a vocal proponent of bigotry.

(Human Rights Watch)

Top Stories

36 new coronavirus cases detected out of 3,317 tests

The Ministry of Health has announced that 36 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected in Cyprus over the past 24 hours out...

Emergency meeting regarding mass coronavirus cases detected in football teams to be held at Ministry of Health on Thursday

The Cypriot football scene is officially on alert. Positive coronavirus cases seem to be sprouting left, right, centre and generally multiplying before one can...

Ethnikos Achnas FC: number of now confirmed COVID-19 cases skyrockets to 17

Fears of a sharp increase in positive coronavirus cases in Ethnikos Achnas have been confirmed. As confirmed by an announcement by the team, a total...

Ethnikos Achnas FC: covid cases reportedly now in the double digits – match with Aris Lemesou postponed

Information about several positive cases of coronavirus detected in Ethnikos Achnas FC has been confirmed. The latest information indicates that the second diagnostic test the...

Additional covid measures in Larnaca in effect as of Thursday

The Government has announced new local measures concerning the coronavirus pandemic due to the outbreak observed in Larnaca the past few days. The Minister of...

Taste

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...

Meatballs with tomato and cumin

Place all meatball ingredients in a bowl and knead well with hands. Keep the mixture in the fridge for approximately 1 hour to thicken. In...