NGOs request support from speaker Maia in defense of press freedom
Civil society representatives met with the speaker of the Lower House on Wednesday to ask the house to act to guarantee the rights of journalists and media outlets
Presidente da Câmara, Rodrigo Maia, recebeu representantes da sociedade civil para discutir a defesa da liberdade de imprensa (Foto: João Baptista/ Câmara)
The speaker of the Lower House of Congress, Rodrigo Maia, met on Wednesday, March 11, with representatives of civil society organizations concerned with the escalating attacks from authorities against journalists.
The organizations Abraji (Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism), Article 19, Conectas Human Rights and Intervozes discussed press freedom and the right to information as prerequisites for the rule of law and respect for democratic institutions.
During the meeting, the organizations emphasized the urgency for the speaker to not permit the Lower House to be the stage of attacks on journalists – like what happened on February 11, when Eduardo Bolsonaro insulted the journalist Patrícia Campos Mello of the Folha de São Paulo newspaper.
“The offensive against press freedom is a serious human rights violation and the Lower House of Congress must act to stop these abuses, by not permitting that attacks occur on its premises and in its committees. This was one of the requests we made to the speaker Rodrigo Maia,” explained Camila Asano, coordinator of Conectas, who took part in the meeting.
The vice president of Abraji, Guilherme Amado, said that Maia agreed to act in defense of press freedom inside the Lower House and in dialogue with the other branches of government.
“The Lower House speaker also noted that there is a direct connection between respect for freedom of expression and economic growth, since a secure environment for investment is only possible in a strong democracy. And this only exists with respect for freedom of expression,” said Amado.