RSF is participating in the hearing as a member of a coalition* of Brazilian and international organizations promoting human rights and free speech. The hearing has been requested by RSF and its partner organizations since Jair Bolsonaro was installed as Brazil’s president in January 2019.
With the assistance of his family and many members of his government, President Bolsonaro has constantly fuelled a climate of mistrust and confrontation towards journalists by means of incendiary statements against the media and incitements to hatred.
This is the first time that the IACHR, which is an offshoot of the Organization of American States, has agreed to hold a public hearing on the situation of freedom of expression in Brazil.
“The decision to hold this hearing is a highly symbolic recognition by the OAS of the profound degradation in freedom of expression in Brazil,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “It offers a unique opportunity to draw attention to the way that attacks against human rights and press freedom have become systematic and institutionalized in Brazil under President Bolsonaro.”
The IACHR is an independent entity that promotes human rights in the western hemisphere – visiting OAS member states for the purposes of observation, making recommendations and acting as an OAS consultative body. It holds public hearings several times a year in which the families of the victims of human rights violations, civil society representatives and government representatives take part.
Brazil is ranked 105th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
*The coalition’s members:
Article 19 - Brazil
Abraji - Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo
Associação Brasileira de Rádios Comunitárias (Abraço)
Centro de Estudos da Mídia Alternativa Barão de Itararé
Centro pela Justiça e o Direito Internacional (CEJIL)
Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores em Estabelecimentos de Ensino (Contee)
Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT)
Coalizão Direitos na Rede
Federação Interestadual dos Trabalhadores e Pesquisadores em Serviços de Telecomunicações (Fitratelp)
Federação Nacional dos Jornalistas (Fenaj)
Fórum Nacional pela Democratização da Comunicação (FNDC)
Instituto Vladimir Herzog
Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Movimento Artigo Quinto
Terra de Direitos