Judge Tamara Hochgreb Matos, from the 24th Civil Court of the District of São Paulo, determined this Tuesday (7) that Jair Bolsonaro (PL) pay R$ 100 thousand in compensation for attacks on journalists. This is the first time an incumbent President of the Republic has been convicted by Justice for collective moral damage to the category.
Matos said when delivering the decision that “aggressions and threats from the defendant, who is none other than the Head of State, find enormous repercussions on his supporters, and contributed to the virtual and even physical attacks that journalists began to suffer throughout Brazil, constraining them to exercise freedom of the press, which is one of the pillars of democracy”.
“By offending the reputation and subjective honor of journalists, insinuating that women can only get a scoop if they seduce someone, make use of homophobic jokes and xenophobic remarks, vulgar and profanity, and worse, threaten and encourage their supporters to assaulting journalists, the defendant manifests, with verbal violence, his hatred, contempt and intolerance against press professionals, disqualifying and despising them, which constitutes a manifest practice of hate speech, and evidently goes beyond all limits of freedom of expression. constitutionally guaranteed expression.”
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The compensation of R$ 100 thousand reais will go to the State Fund for the Defense of Diffuse Rights, a fund that supports projects in various areas, through public notices.
The action was initiated on April 7 of last year by the Union of Professional Journalists in the State of São Paulo. The organization’s coordinator, Raphael Maia, said that “this is a huge victory for journalists and for the Brazilian union movement: I don’t know of any similar case in which a union entity won a conviction for collective moral damage of a category to a president of the Republic in full exercise of its mandate.”
The decision was published on National Press Freedom Day, June 7, amid searches for English journalist Don Phillips, who disappeared Sunday in the Amazon.
The union president, Thiago Tanji, said that the decision in the first instance is a milestone for the category. “On this Press Freedom Day, we don’t have much to celebrate. We are looking for answers about the disappearance of journalist Dom Philips and indigenist Bruno Pereira. But so far the authorities have given little or no effective response on the case. In this way, the disrespect for life and dignity that Jair Bolsonaro has carried since the first day of his term is materialized. As we win this favorable court decision, we remember that dignity and truth will win over hatred and obscurantism.”
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Editing: Thalita Pires