A Sao Paulo court on Thursday confirmed the first-instance verdict against former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on charges of moral harassment against journalists.
he Sao Paulo Court of Justice This Thursday, a trial judge upheld a verdict for emotional damages against journalists imposed on the former Brazilian president. Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022) last year.
The Fourth Private Court of Second Instance Tribunal fully upheld the June 2022 ruling by a São Paulo civil judge24, only amending the amount of reparations that far-right leaders must pay. decreased by half.
The 100,000 reais (about $20,000) award imposed by the judge was reduced by the court to 50,000 reais (about $10,000).
The decision requires the Liberal Party (PL) leader to deposit compensation money into an account with the Proliferation Rights Advocacy Community Fund, which will use it to protect press freedom.
The judges of the court of second instance accepted the São Paulo Professional Union of Professional Journalists’ argument in the sense that the then head of state was guilty of moral harassment and had to make reparations for the constant attacks on the press. To inflict collective moral damage.
Although the defense of Mr Bolsonaro claimed there was never censorship within his regime And that his attacks were directed at specific journalists rather than at professional unions as a whole, the judge deemed the then president abusing his right to free expression to anger the press.
According to the union that filed the complaint, Bolsonaro “attacked the freedom of the press itself.” This is because democracies are forced to exercise the right to freedom of expression in hostile, disrespectful and humiliating ways, using verbal violence, profanity, derogatory, homophobic, xenophobic and misogynistic language. This is because it expanded and subjected the group to moral harassment. “
According to data from Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association, Bolsonaro is responsible for 557 attacks against media and their professionals in 2022. The trend intensified during the presidential campaign in October, when he lost to progressive Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.
Attacks on the media by far-right leaders surged from 130 in 2019, his first year in office, to 453 in 2021 and 557 last year, according to data from the association.