Organizations mobilize against bill in Lower House to expand criminal immunity

The “No License to Kill” campaign pressures lawmakers to oppose the article of Bill 9432/2017 that exempts police officers and military personnel from investigation and prosecution for unjustifiable killings when on duty

Campanha Campanha "Sem Licença para Matar" alerta para os riscos da excludente de ilicitude. Imagem: Reprodução

Civil society organizations are once again mobilizing against the inclusion of criminal immunity in a legislative bill. The legislation this time is Bill 9432/2017, which reforms the Military Criminal Code. Currently pending in the Lower House of Congress, article 44 of the bill includes the concept of criminal immunity for military police officers and members of the Armed Forces.

Formed by more than 40 organizations, the “No License to Kill” campaign states that “if approved as it stands, this project in practice provides a safe conduct for the military (whether the Armed Forces or the police) to receive impunity in the event they shoot, assault or kill someone if they claim they felt threatened”.

The campaign, which is open for signatures, goes on to say that “it is a distortion of the concept of legitimate self-defense, because the law creates a type of prior authorization so violent police officers do not have to worry about consequences in Internal Affairs or in the courts”. 

The idea of legalizing criminal immunity was already debated and rejected in 2019 during the passage of the “Anti-Crime Package” submitted by the then Minister of Justice, Sérgio Moro.

In 2020, even considering the social isolation and reduced circulation of people on account of the pandemic, the police still killed 6,416 people, or an average of 17.6 per day, according to the Annual Report on Brazilian Public Security. Of the victims, 78.9% were black.

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