— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) May 29, 2014
The Brazilian government is one step away from passing a new ‘terrorism’ Bill ahead of the tournament in June. If passed, it could see any civilian attending a protest – regardless of whether they have committed a crime or not – imprisoned for peacefully demonstrating.
Law 449/2013 plans to make ‘disorder’ a crime, with the aim of addressing threats of terrorism. But ‘disorder’ is vaguely worded in the Bill – if passed in its current form, innocent civilians could be locked up simply for expressing their right to free speech and freedom of assembly. The Brazilian government appears to be rushing through this legislation before the World Cup starts in June, potentially in order to curb protests at the time of the tournament.
Protesting is not a crime, it’s a human right. Instead of crushing potential protests, Brazilian authorities should instead be looking for ways to responsibly police demonstrations and allow citizens to peacefully protest without fear of arrest.