Brazil: journalists denounce censorship around Jair Bolsonaro's son

Brazilian Senator Flavio Bolsonaro (left) and his father, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (right), in Brasilia, November 21, 2019. Evaristo Sa / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

In Brazil, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro, is being investigated for corruption.

The courts have banned TV Globo, the largest television station in the country, from broadcasting documents relating to this investigation, on the grounds of secrecy of the investigation.

Several journalists' unions denounce censorship.


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Flavio Bolsonaro, 39, is under investigation for a corruption case that dates back to his time as a member of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Yet on Friday, September 4, trial judge Cristina Feijo banned

TV Globo

from publishing any documents relating to the investigation concerning the man who has since become a senator.

The son of the President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro welcomed it in the wake, with harsh language: " 

I have just won a decision preventing #Globolixo (Globo-junk) from publishing any document of my case under the secrecy of the 'instruction.

I have nothing to hide and I have explained everything, but the stories that part of the press invents to tarnish my image and that of President Jair Bolsonaro are criminal acts.


► To read also: Brazil: the government of Bolsonaro files the “anti-fascists”

An "aggression" against freedom of the press

This decision has sparked much debate in the country.

Beth Costa, general secretary of FENAJ, a federation of more than 30 Brazilian unions, sees it " 

clearly as censorship

 " as well as " 

aggression against our Constitution which guarantees freedom of the press and of speech


The trade unionist believes that " 

the judge heard only the defense of Flavio Bolsonaro

 " and that she "did 

not allow TV Globo to justify itself


Listing a number of similar facts and bans against journalists in recent months, Beth Costa speaks of " 

political decisions



Justice in Brazil is not working.

It does not defend democracy and freedom.

It is not good for democracy when a censorship returns that we only knew under the dictatorship,

 ”she confides.

Bolsonaro does not like being opposed to him, democracy


Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro stood out on 23 August with another vehement outburst against the press.

To a journalist from the

O Globo


who questioned him about these corruption cases which also affect his wife Michelle, the Head of State replied: “ 

I want to shut your mouth with fists.



We noticed that during the first year of the Bolsonaro government,

violence against journalists, attacks and intimidation

increased by 58%.

And this increase is due to the president, who commits almost one attack per day.

I think it's worse than Donald Trump,

 ”observes Beth Costa.


He doesn't like being opposed to him, he doesn't like democracy, freedom of the press.

He doesn't like investigative journalists doing their job.

It's very interesting, what's happening in Brazil right now: on social media, they (members of Jair Bolsonaro's camp) are twisting all the information so that anything posted against the president looks false, in the eyes of those who follow him.

It's incredible,

 ”she regrets.


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  • Brazil

  • Jair Bolsonaro

  • Corruption

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