Brazil's Supreme Court Opens Investigation into Education Minister for Racism Crime

Weitraub used Turma da Mônica to imply that coronavirus benefits Chinese

São Paulo

Supreme Court Justice Celso de Mello ordered an investigation into the Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub, for the crime of racism.

In April, Weintraub used the character Cebolinha from Turma da Mônica, and changed the letter "r" to "l," to refer to the Chinese accent and to imply that the new coronavirus would serve the interests of China.

China reacted through its ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming, who called the minister a racist. After that, Weintraub deleted his Twitter profile post.

Weintraub's twit - Reprodução

The Federal Public Ministry requested the opening of the investigation alleging that the behavior of the Minister of Education "constitutes, in theory, the criminal offense provided for in the final part of article 20 of Law 7.716 / 1989, which defines crimes resulting from prejudice".

Celso de Mello ruled out a confidential investigation. He also ruled out giving Weintraub an agreed-upon time to testify. According to the minister, only authorities who are victims or witnesses enjoy this privilege.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language