Brazilian Government Uses National Security Law to Investigate Journalist

Ministry of Justice and Secretariat of Communication accused Ricardo Noblat of false imputation, slander or defamation against the president


The Jair Bolsonaro government wants to use the National Security Law to investigate Veja magazine journalist Ricardo Noblat because he published a cartoon on social media in which the president appears along with a swastika, a symbol of Nazism.

The National Security Law was enacted during the military dictatorship, invoked in the past to harass politicians and incriminate landless occupations. Despite its origins in an exception regime, it has recently been used in investigations of attacks on democracy.

Ilustração assinada pelo cartunista Aroeira (Foto: @BlogdoNoblat no Twitter) - @BlogdoNoblat no Twitter

In the illustration signed by cartoonist Aroeira, there is a red cross, which refers to hospitals, whose ends were painted with black ink, forming the swastika. Bolsonaro appears next to the painting with a can of paint and a brush in his hand. In the image, we can read the expressions "continued crime" and "let's invade another one?".

Ricardo Noblat told Folha that the National Security Law does not lend itself to hindering freedom of thought. "I do not believe that the National Security Law exists to prevent the free expression of thought. By the way, it is excrement that has not been removed even with re-democratization," said Noblat.

"It is not the first time Bolsonaro has sued me. He has already sued me twice as a candidate and as president. He has lost both. I think he will lose this one if he insists on it," the journalist said.

The column Folha's Panel showed last week that, under Jair Bolsonaro, the number of investigations into alleged violations of the National Security Law has broken a record.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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