freedom of expression



One of the perversities of Bolsonaro's speech is to feed the ideological game of apparently presenting himself as a defender of freedom to systematically attack freedom of the press

In a splendid passage of the film the train of life (1998), by Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu, the character Schlomo, the madman of an Israeli community, inhabitants of a small Jewish village in central Europe, travelers fleeing Nazism, heading for Palestine, warns his compatriots in dispute over ideological issues: “Have you ever wondered if we humans exist? God created man in his image. This is beautiful! But who wrote this phrase in the Torah? He was a man, not God. Man wrote it immodestly, comparing himself to God. Perhaps God created man, but man created God. Man created God just to be able to invent himself, so he wrote a book – the Bible – for fear of being forgotten. The central question is not whether God exists, but whether we exist.” I would complement: and how we exist.

Books are born as food for the spirit. If, on the one hand, the human body needs to be constantly fed from a basket made up of fruits, vegetables, cereals, proteins, vitamins, mineral salts, carbohydrates and water, on the other hand, the soul is hungry and thirsty for a variety of nutrients that provide energy, direction and meaning in your spiritual-material existence, such as art, philosophy, science and love. It is through these healthy exchanges with the environment and with other humans that we enable our flourishing and civilizing growth.

Dom Hélder Câmara (1909-1999), former archbishop of Olinda and Recife, in a sensitive passage on books and freedom of expression, contemplates: “Praised be you, my Lord, by the Press. She is the food of the intelligence and light for the spirit. Praised be You, my Lord, for all the times that books, magazines and newspapers bring people together, lower the barriers of space and time. Praised be You, my Lord, for every time that news and knowledge circulate throughout the earth, giving new opportunities for the fight against ignorance, for the liberation of the human person. Lord, we ask you for all writers and journalists in the world: may they be humble servants of truth, justice and love” (in A look at the city, p. 102, Paulus, 2016). What is lacking, in current times, is a national leadership of the stature and luminosity of Dom Hélder, capable of denouncing with authority, of gathering people of good will around the truth and of pointing out ways to formulate responses to the times . Today, unfortunately, most Christian leaders – lay and religious – are absent from the public space, trapped in their insecurities or in their proselytism, focused on themselves, on their organizational projects, when they are not reinforcing the authoritarian status quo established in Brazil with the 2016 coup.

A survey carried out by the National Federation of Journalists (Fenaj) shows that in the first four months of 2020 alone – not counting the records of last year’s aggressions – Bolsonaro invested 179 (one hundred and seventy-nine) times against the Press with the most varied verbal aggressions , signaling with this posture an authorization for his herd to reproduce the same aggressions in their daily environments and in their street manifestations. One of the perversities of Bolsonaro's speech is to feed the ideological game of apparently presenting himself as a defender of freedom to systematically attack freedom of the press, which is one of the fundamental rights of any and all democracy, encouraging, with this attitude, his minions to do the same on their social networks and in public spaces, in the most intense ways and often through “fake news”.

On July 04, 2015, five years ago, the CONJUR website published the complaint made by WikiLeaks, by journalist Julian Assange, in which Brazilian government officials, including President Dilma Rousseff, and her advisors were heavily spied on by the Agency. US Espionage Agency, NSA. The release of this material showed how the US criminally treats governments and nations around the world. This US espionage became public when Edward Snowden, a former NSA agent, denounced the worldwide telematic control developed by the US. It so happens that this country is asking for the extradition of the founder of WikiLeaks to fit its Espionage Law, and the journalist could face up to 175 years in prison if convicted. That is, the US can spy on anyone it wants, but it does not admit being spied on. UN Special Rapporteur Nils Melzer recently stated that the Assange case should interest everyone who cares about democracy: “Julian Assagen was psychologically tortured by the US and England. This is a huge scandal. If he is convicted, it will be a death sentence for press freedom.”

Studies enormously prove that the extreme right rulers aim at two preferential targets for the exercise of their project: 1) the equipping of the judicial system, with an eye especially on the control of the Supreme Court, allowing changes in the Constitution under an apparent guardianship of legality; 2) the silencing of opposition voices, publicly tainting biographies, such as the use of justice and intelligence systems to intimidate and financially undermine both the press not aligned with the government and educational institutions, spaces of freedom of expression, dangerous to the stability of the his project of authoritarian power.

The month of July 2020 began with a joint report by The Intercept Brasil and Agência Pública denouncing agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) acting in the Lava Jato investigations of Sérgio Moro and Deltan Dallagnol. These agents are divided into two types. Some are public figures, appearing frequently at events praising the work of the Curitiba group and giving them guidance on how to follow US law. The other agents do not appear, to avoid exposing agents carrying out secret or controversial operations in foreign territory. For lawyer Cristiano Zanin, president LULA's patron, in the Triplex process, the promiscuity of the actions of Lava Jato prosecutors with US police authorities is ILLEGAL AND SERIOUS because it is not recorded in the case file, in an evident degree of "informality". It is further aggravated by the fact that judge Sérgio Moro, in 2018, even having watched the video presented by Dr. Zanin, dismissed all the questions asked at the hearing on this topic. And it is this type of judge that Globo defends tooth and nail in its editorial line. Why? It would be very good to investigate these reasons.

*Alexandre Aragão de Albuquerque Master in Public Policy and Society from the State University of Ceará (UECE)



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