Bolsonaro To Pay Compensation for Harassment of Journalists

Bolsonaro To Pay Compensation for Harassment of Journalists

On Thursday, the Sao Paulo Justice Court confirmed a conviction against former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who must pay compensation for moral damages to journalists.


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The Second Instance Court’s 4th Chamber of Private Law confirmed the sentence handed down by a civil judge in June 2022. However, the Chamber reduced the compensation from US$20,000 to US$10,000.

Bolsonaro must deposit the compensation amount in the accounts of the Regional Fund for the Defense of Diffuse Rights, which will use the money to defend press freedom.

Previously, the Sao Paulo Union Professional Journalists argumented that Bolsonaro committed the crime of moral harassment for his constant attacks on the press and that he had to compensate them for collective moral damage.

During the trial, Bolsonaro’s defense alleged that he never censored the press and that his attacks were directed at some journalists and not at the entire professional group.

O Bolsonaro está começando a ser condenado por seus crimes?
Em segunda instância ele foi agora sentenciado a pagar R$ 50 mil, por dano moral coletivo devido aos reiterados ataques a jornalistas.
Mas não ficou barato?

— Sérgio A J Barretto (@SergioAJBarrett)
May 26, 2023

The tweet reads, «Is Bolsonaro beginning to be sentenced for his crimes? Secondly, he was sentenced to pay R$50,000 for collective non-pecuniary damages due to repeated attacks on journalists. But isn’t it cheap?»

Despite these arguments, the Second Instance Court considered that the right-wing politician abused his right to freedom of expression to offend the press.

«Besides acting against democracy, Bolsonaro attacked the freedom of the press itself. In a hostile, disrespectful and humiliating way, with the use of verbal violence, profanity and pejorative, homophobic, xenophobic, and misogynistic expressions, he extrapolated his right to free speech and morally harassed the group,» said the journalists that filed the complaint.

The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism maintains that Bolsonaro’s number of verbal attacks against journalists went from 130 to 453 between 2019 and 2021.

During the last year of his administration in 2022, Bolsonaro attacked the press 557 times. His harassment intensified during the October presidential campaign, in which he was defeated by Workers’ Party leader Lula da Silva.

#Brazil | Former president Jair Bolsonaro arrived at the Federal Police headquarters in Brasilia to testify as part of the investigation into the coup attempts reported on January 8th.

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish)
April 27, 2023

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